In the hospitality industry, Lost and Found is often overlooked as an important aspect of customer service that extends well beyond a guest’s stay. While some visitors only misplace or forget negligible items like a toothbrush or umbrella, others leave behind things of greater value that can be expensive to replace or might be irreplaceable altogether. Properties that do everything in their power to reunite these items with their owners will earn the best badge you can earn in the hospitality sector — brand loyalty.
When it comes to lost and found management, it pays to be proactive. Let’s paint a picture: imagine that a guest’s daughter left behind her favorite baby doll in the lobby, but it was found and returned just before bedtime. Or a celebrity's forgotten wallet is swiftly located and discreetly returned without a tabloid ever getting wind of their location.
In the digital age, even something as seemingly straightforward as lost and found has room for innovation. After all, for the hospitality sector, it's not just about returning items — it's about creating memorable, friction-free experiences for guests. Implementing the latest lost and found software can make the process of handling lost items more efficient, user-friendly and less time-consuming for both employees and guests.
Enhancing the Guest Experience
For hotels, resorts and casinos, guest satisfaction is paramount. It’s one thing for a customer to lose an item, but it’s entirely another for it to be returned seamlessly. Consider the case of a plush pug, a little boy's favorite item since birth that was misplaced while traveling. Thanks to a caring staff and the use of intelligent lost and found software, the treasured item was found and shipped back to a grateful child and his relieved parents.
Traditional methods of lost and found, especially for larger properties, can be a complicated maze of manual logs, inconsistent labels and haphazard storage. Modern, tech-forward solutions provide an organized system, ensuring items are easily logged, matched and shipped back to their rightful owners without the need for extensive paperwork or manual handoffs to lost and found agents. The overall efficiency of the system improves the chances of successfully returning lost items to their owners.
Chain of Custody
In the hospitality sector, the problem isn't only the lost item – it’s the potential accusations of negligence or theft by an employee. A dedicated resolution system mitigates this, ensuring items are safely and promptly returned, reducing risks of claims. Every action is traceable, and the next steps are always clear. This accountability and transparency ensures items are handled correctly and builds trust with guests who can feel confident their belongings are in safe hands.
Modern lost and found software facilitates efficient communication, helping to set expectations for the resolution process and automatically updating guests and visitors. Guests no longer need to contact the lost and found department repeatedly for information, but instead they will receive consistent updates according to their communications preferences.
Through data analytics, properties can pinpoint trends. If items are consistently misplaced in a particular area, preventive measures can be adopted, reflecting the brand's dedication to improving guest experiences.
Finally, consider the potential for creating new revenue streams. Leftover item monetization creates an effortless path for unclaimed items to be responsibly sold, donated or recycled, thereby supporting sustainability that many guests will appreciate.
Technology has revolutionized the lost and found management process across the hospitality, transportation and entertainment industries. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s often these unseen, unsung advancements that make all the difference.
Just a few weeks ago we had the privilege of helping one of our partners return a Kindle. It wasn’t the Kindle he really cared about, but rather the case that it was in. The case was purchased in Italy by his daughter and gifted to him before she passed away. The Kindle and its precious case were returned to the man 14 years to the day of his daughter’s passing.
Whether it’s a child’s prized plushy, a wallet or an item with priceless sentiment, the automation and optimization available today are invaluable as organizations strive to streamline operations, foster loyalty and ensure positive experiences for their guests.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Byron Smith is the Chief Technology Officer for Reunitus, spearheading technology product development — most notably its renowned mishandled baggage management platform, NetTracer, and its Lost and Found solution. Since 2004, Reunitus has been the bridge reuniting lost items with their rightful owners in travel, hospitality and other sectors. Byron’s commitment to customer-driven innovation ensures Reunitus’ solutions are ever-evolving, always putting customers first.