Most people would agree that the last year has been taxing for a variety of reasons.
Fortunately the country appears to be on course to open back up (touch wood). Restrictions are slowly being loosened and people are starting to remember life pre 2020.
We have even been given the date of the 21st of June as our independence day. The day when all social restrictions will supposedly be lifted.
A lifeline for hospitality
As well as the obvious advantages of getting back to normal, the grand re-opening of our nation presents an opportunity for many businesses. The hospitality industry especially has suffered greatly and the option to welcome guests back en masse can’t come any sooner.
The uncertainty around foreign holidays also indicates that the ‘staycation’ will be incredibly popular. According to Snaptrip, holiday bookings in the UK have increased by 460% in 2021 when compared with 2019.
So, it seems likely that many UK hotels and holiday parks will see unprecedented levels of footfall. Sun starved Brits will not be denied their getaway, even if it does mean battling with our notoriously unpredictable weather.
As well as the obvious upside for UK hospitality, the potential influx of customers also presents some challenges. Current staff may need additional training as well as the need to bolster the ranks with fresh recruits. Stock levels need to be perfectly managed as teams assess demand against the potential for wastage at a time when every penny counts more than ever.
It will also have been a year and a half since people were allowed to do, within reason, what they want. This means we could see a lot of ‘overindulging’ managed by staff who haven’t experienced such behaviour in a long time or at all.
Taking this into account, it’s doubly important the overall experience is prioritised. As things could get a little chaotic, provisions need to be made to ensure that any inconveniences to the customer, self inflicted or otherwise are minimised to the best of any businesses ability.
How do you improve customer experience?
One of the ways to ensure that your customers have a good overall experience is making sure that anything they misplace finds its way back to them.
If you work in hospitality you will be all too aware that people lose things. This, you cannot be blamed for. The processes you have in place to get items back however is very much under your control.
If someone visits your hotel and leaves their phone behind the experience for them could already be tainted. Unfortunately the system by which lost property is tracked, managed and resolved often leaves a lot to be desired. Items are too often kept track of via an excel or physical ledger which are time consuming and inefficient.
The lack of visibility means those dealing with customers aren’t often able to see all the lost items. This creates two separate issues.
Firstly your guest has had a poor experience as one of your staff calls around to try and find the phone. It could take days or even weeks to locate the item. If it’s as important as a phone it could be very frustrating for your customer.
Secondly it takes time away from your staff. As we approach what could be one of the busiest periods for UK hospitality in years it’s fair to say your team needs every second they have.
A smarter method
Rather than relying on an analogue process, the best solution is to automate the whole lost and found journey. This is achieved through NotLost’s tailor made lost property software which provides a seamless digital solution for both your staff and your customers.
How does it work?
When a member of your team finds something on your premises all they need to do is take a picture and upload to NotLost’s secure database. Our image recognition software then automatically generates a description of the item.
Now when a customer enquires looking for something they can be directed to a self service portal. They enter the details of the missing item and our state of the art matching software provides them with a list of suitable options.
From there they select their long lost possession and choose how they want it posted to them. If you are offering collections then an address to pick up any lost property can also be provided.
Your team can also be given an overview of all missing items. This means managers and customer service staff have visibility of all logged possessions across your premises.
Now if a customer calls up they can be given an answer in minutes, rather than days. When Alton Towers started using our automated process, their staff spent 68% less time handling lost and found enquiries.