A disorganised or non-existent lost and found process could trigger negative reviews and poor brand loyalty
We continue our hotel dedicated blog series by exploring the impact that lost property management can have on guest experience.
Losing belongings is inevitable. We all lose around 3,000 items in our lifetime, and when it’s something sentimental or expensive, most of us would do anything to get it back. (Source: Mirror)
Therefore, the likelihood that you leave something behind at a hotel is pretty high. The last thing you need to deal with is a chaotic or even non-existent lost property process, meaning there’s no chance you’ll get your item back. The memory of your entire stay would be tainted by something that could be so easily managed.
As hotel General Manager, why would you want to risk this happening in your hotel?
You want to ensure that guests enjoy their stay, leave positive reviews, recommend their stay to others, plus also come back to stay in future.
Do guests really care about the lost property process?
Yes, they do! Review sites heavily feature a mix of both positive and negative experiences with lost property at hotels.
The bad experiences
A common complaint found on various review sites such as TripAdvisor is that there was no lost property system in place. Here’s a prime example of a review left by a dissatisfied hotel guest, titled ‘Don’t expect to get any lost property back!‘.
The guest describes a situation where there is clearly no agreed upon process for managing lost property. As a result, they did not receive their item back, furthermore, warning others not to stay here.
With a quick google search you will come across a whole host of similar reviews. These often describe:
- Lack of security
- Miscommunication between staff members
- Not taking the matter seriously
- Confusing phone conversations
It’s important that hotels are aware that experiences post-stay can affect a guests’ opinion of the entire trip. Unfortunately, hotel reviews are too frequently tainted by the lack of service the hotel is able to provide once they have left the front door.
Some positive news
On the other hand, guests have been amazed by the customer service at hotels, and they aren’t afraid to shout about it.
Here’s a review from a happy guest who was reunited with his lost toothbrush titled ‘Well done Travelodge – returned lost property’. This experience meant that a basic hotel stay was given a 5* review.
Furthermore, happy guests are more inclined to take part in loyalty programmes or reward schemes. These guests may pay a little extra to get the best service and therefore, have a certain expectation of how they should be treated. If you’re able to offer them a brilliant stay with a water-tight lost property system, it’s win-win.
How can hotels change their lost property process to delight guests?
It’s clear from our research that a robust lost & found process can improve guest loyalty and satisfaction. What’s more, it’s not difficult to implement a game-changing process.
NotLost have developed a platform that works brilliantly for hotel teams. Oh, and it’s completely free for your hotel!
Here’s how it works:
- When cleaning the room, housekeepers find items that have been left behind. They simply take a photo of the item and a found item report is created automatically.
- The room number and extra information about the item can also be added. This item now exists on the digital NotLost platform only your hotel staff can access.
- The actual item is tagged with a unique code that matches the found item report and stored securely.
- A guest realises they have left an item behind. They quickly get into contact with the hotel over the phone to ask about their item.
- The staff can immediately search the NotLost platform for an item matching the guest’s description using keywords, date ranges, room numbers and images. They can let the guest know right there and then whether the item has been logged.
- If the lost enquiry successfully matches the found item, hurray! The item can be sent back to the guest via our flexible postage options. The guest pays a small fee for their item to be tracked and posted.
- If the guests’ item has not been immediately found, staff will create a lost item report for the guest on the same platform with their contact details attached. If the item is found in future, staff can quickly contact the guest and return the item to them.
Overall, guests feel valued and listened to. Their enquiry is taken seriously and followed up in future. Whether their item is found and returned to them or not, guests appreciate the effort to help them out.
It’s clear that the little ‘extras’ go a long way in improving guest satisfaction.
Why not try our free lost and found software developed specifically for hotels to see how much your guest experience can be improved?
Explore our dedicated hotel page to learn more about how our lost and found software works. Plus, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date with all things lost property! Want to speak to one of us? Get in touch with us here or give us a call on +44(0)20 8037 3970. We’d love to chat.