Online Lost and Found: Putting Pictures on the Internet

An Online Lost and Found can be a crucial customer service tool when your attendees run into a common problem, lost property. For a process that has existed since… well, since people had the stuff to lose, you have many approaches and tools to choose from.

Pro tip: It takes a bit more than just putting pictures on the internet.

The Problem

People lose stuff; due to misplacement, loss, or occasionally theft. The type of item missing often determines the kind and severity of the problem for your customers while also directly impacting your strategy to help return found property.

No matter the cause, your customer has a few challenges when an item is absent. Since the most commonly lost items include wallets, phones, keys, identification/credit cards, you lose happy paying customers when these items go missing.

Liff phone labels
People lose a lot of stuff

Solution: Online Lost and Found

So why would an Online Lost and Found help solve your customers’ myriad of problems?¬†

Simple. Lost and Found is a crowd-created problem, so crowdsourcing is ideal. Plus, the transparent process has many additional benefits, such as building trust, short-circuiting common questions, and even removing roadblocks for consumers in solving their problems.

But an Online Lost and Found is far more than just putting pictures on the internet as many of these items contain sensitive information or are strikingly similar in appearance. Before posting pictures of found property, consider if that action will actually be helpful and also if you’re leaking sensitive customer data.

Pro Tip: It’s not a good idea to publicly post customer data.

Common Pushback: Creating a Shopping List

Person: “Um… if you can see it, then people can steal stuff.”

Why do people assume that? Like seriously? That’s not how anything works. Ever. Phones have serial numbers (don’t give out passcodes, please please please), wallets have identification cards, and bags have contents. Verifying property owners is a straightforward process.

Plus, any good Online Lost and Found, cough cough Liff Happens, should be tracking all the items coming in and being checked out, especially who is returning property and to whom those items are being returned.

Lost and Found Item Labels
We track everything with pretty sweet labels. Um... are you just putting numbers on tape?

Transparency Pays Dividends

A transparent process relieves customer stress, saves time, and reduces confusion. Common tools like online forms, email, spreadsheets, or voicemail create a back and forth process with your customer to get basic information. Then the staff needs to check every single item. So… a colossal waste of time.

A foundation of transparency simplifies everything. Customers know what they are looking for better than anyone else. Reference the online process, and customers can self-help, plus this offloads a ton of the Lost and Found work. Then verify ownership and get that return!

A Simple Process Leads to Neat Opportunities

Customer self-help frees up a ton of time to be proactive. Lost and Found is moving from passive to active. Instead of waiting for customers to find their stuff or suffer through a bad experience, new tools let organizations notify owners when items are found.

For example, the Liff App can send postcards to owners for items that have address information, like wallets and IDs. A great customer engagement and marketing opportunity that customers appreciate.

Contact us

If you have questions about the Liff app, want to chat about Lost and Found, or debate whether pictures should even be online just drop us a note using the button below: