We are, for better or for worse (almost certainly worse) a world of losers.
The question of why we lose so many things is a question as old as time itself. One thing that is certain is the value of items we carry has gone up.
This is why replacing possessions can be such a painful process and why a lost property system for venues is vital.
But is it my problem?
If a customer loses something on your premises, it isn’t your fault. The careless leaving of a laptop, or discarding of a phone shouldn’t be something you have to deal with.
However the world is a cruel and unfair place, and should your venue not have a lost property process, it could hurt you.
This means that the issue of lost property is thrust upon you and therefore something you need to deal with.
How could a poor lost property system harm my venue?
Let’s imagine for a second that John Doe and his girlfriend Jane head to a music venue called The Ditch Pit. They see their favourite band, get drinks spilt on them and generally have a swell time.
On the way out, Jane realised that she’s lost her wallet which no doubt fell out of her pocket as she was moshing.
Now, already her memory of this magical night of hardcore thrash metal could turn sour.
Jane has numerous cards in her wallet which will require cancelling, irreplaceable cash and receipts she needs to claim tax back on for her dog grooming empire.
If there is no process in place then there’s a far higher chance Jane will never see her wallet again. The reason for this is because most places don’t have dedicated lost property software.
Let’s examine two different scenarios.
No lost property system
Jane emails The Ditch Pit the day after she loses her wallet. Unfortunately for Jane this venue has no dedicated lost property system.
So when she enquires she is directed to the generic customer service email.
Her request gets jumbled up with all of the other types of correspondence, meaning it’s days before Jane even gets a response.
When she finally does, it’s from someone without an overview of all the handed in lost property.
So, the person handling the enquiry manually logs the issue, then has to manually search through all of the handed in items.
This inefficient process could add further delay or even mean the wallet is never found.
All in all it is hugely time wasting both for Jane and the venue staff. If the item finds it’s way home it does so late. Tainting her otherwise beautiful experience seeing Death is a blessing, assuming that was the name of the band.
How a lost property system for venues should work
This is how the lost property system for ideal venues works
1) Jane loses her wallet, sad but inevitable
2) A member of staff finds the wallet. They take a photo and upload to our secure database along with any necessary information
3) Our image recognition software creates a profile of that item and logs a found item ticket
4) Jane use the Notlost self service portal where she enters the relevant details of the missing item
5) Our matching tool links the missing and found item report, this is then verified by a member of staff
6) Our system automatically emails Jane with the match who chooses a return option
Firstly, staff aren’t dragged into enquiries except to validate matches. If a member of the team is needed then they can have an overview of all handed in items.
This means they can give an answer to a customer about their misplaced possession in minutes, not days.
Secondly, customers get the service they deserve. If the item is there it will find its way home quickly. If it isn’t, at least they cannot fault the system and know that the venue takes their problem seriously.
Either way this will ensure that they’re memory of the evening is not tainted by an avoidable problem.