Here at NotLost, we talk a lot about lost property. It’s in our blood. Generally, we’re discussing its importance for different types of businesses or industries. This can have a limited appeal. Why would anyone outside of aviation read a blog about the importance of airport lost property, however well-written and insightful it may be?
So we decided to take a broader approach – focusing on one of the universal benefits of a seamless lost & found process – reputation.
Reputation in the age of the internet
Social media has changed how businesses operate. Acting as the new town square, platforms like Twitter and Facebook give ordinary people a voice. Most of it gets lost in the wind – equivalent to shouting in a crowded room and failing to get a response. But, now and again, something gets heard and amplified.
While this could be positive or negative, social media seems to be used to vent grievances more often than not. Studies show that 51% of people have used social media to call out companies. Therefore, organisations need to do everything they can to avoid getting lampooned online. One poor experience can do irreparable brand damage, even if it is an isolated incident.
Outside of social media, online reviews represent a traditional way to get back at a business. Essentially, there is no shortage of options for a customer scorned. Now, we understand that it’s impossible to get everything right. But, keeping faith with your customers and the wider population lies in minimising facets of your business where you might be vulnerable.
How lost property represents a potential weak spot
For businesses with high footfall levels, lost property is one of these high-risk areas. Be it a phone, wallet or jacket, realising a possession is missing and trying to retrieve it is stressful. So, if the process a customer is forced to undergo is inefficient, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Let’s say for the sake of argument that Sam loses his phone at the Generica shopping centre. When he returns home – disturbed by a journey devoid of social media – he looks to make contact with the lost property department, where they are prompted to email customer service. Hours turn into days, which eventually turn into weeks. Our friend, despairing that their device is lost, tries all communication methods, hampered of course, by the lack of a mobile.
Whether or not the phone is found is beside the point. The process – or their lack of – illustrates that this shopping centre does not care about its customer’s lost possessions. If Sam hasn’t already taken to social media to complain publicly, there’s a strong chance he will. Should that happen, there’s a permanent reminder that Generica has poor customer service in at least one area.
Why lost property is worth investing in
In all fairness, lost property can be a pain. On the face of it, it seems an odd place to invest in. Customers losing stuff is not their problem nor an area you can profit from, so establishing a state-of-the-art process is hardly a top priority. This is of course, incorrect.
While the misplacing of possessions isn’t your fault, it is a problem you have to deal with. Think of it as one of the inconvenient chores we have to handle daily, such as taking out the bins or mowing the lawn – dull but unavoidable.
A poor lost property process will only cause a bigger headache down the road, much like not mowing your lawn for years because it’s not your fault the grass grows.
So, this is where NotLost comes in.
How NotLost can help
NotLost’s market-leading software will transform your lost property process. See how works below.
1) A customer loses their phone
2) The phone is found and an image is uploaded to the NotLost platform, along with any pertinent details.
3) Our image recognition software creates a profile of the phone and a lost property ticket is logged.
4) When making an inquiry, the customer is directed to a self-service portal, where they enter details of the phone and a missing item ticket is created.
5) Our matching software pairs up relevant tickets, which are then validated by a staff member
6) The passenger is sent a variety of return options to choose from, which includes delivery and collection
Want to learn more about how our lost property process can help your business? Check out our website or email Josh@notlost.com