Lack of a lost property process at your hotel is costing you dearly – here’s what you can do about it.
Leaving something behind in a hotel room is an expensive mistake to make. But who really foots the bill when items get left behind?
This blog will explore how lost property management can be a costly task for hotel teams. With months gone by without any guests, it’s key that hotels are now mindful of their spending. This includes exploring new avenues to generate further revenue whilst raising awareness of areas that can be cut down.
We estimate that lost property costs a hotel approximately £35 per room every year
That number adds up really quickly.
But how? It is often a fractured process involving multiple people across long periods of time. But it’s still a manual job that needs to be done and all manual jobs come with a price tag.
Understanding the costs of lost property management is key.
What are these hidden costs?
Lost property can influence cost through time needed and a variety of operational costs. Here are 4 ways how lost property is costing your hotel money:
1. Manual handling of lost and found items
Your hotel staff have multiple tasks to complete to ensure that guests have a first-class stay.
Finding, logging and safely storing lost property items is a task that shouldn’t take a long time, however staff report that it can be incredibly time consuming.
And as the famous saying goes: “time is money”.
2. Storage costs
Hotels are required to look after lost items reasonably, meaning strict procedures need to be in place. See our blog which explains what qualifies as ‘reasonable’ here.
With no simple lost and found management process in place, hotels can end up looking after items for many months more than they need to be. This takes up valuable office space which needs to be paid for.
3. Responding to enquiries
We are now more inclined to go on holiday with our most precious items. However, these are often also our most valuable; think laptops, other tech and jewellery. So, it’s not surprising that guests are very likely to quickly get back in contact with you if something has been left behind.
At peak guest capacity, this can mean a lot of calls. Enquiry handling takes up a lot of time if there is no simple, automated process in place.
Flicking between logbooks, contacting staff members in different areas and rifling through lost property storage is really not a good use of your staff’s time. And it’s an extra cost to you.
4. Posting and packaging items back to guests
Lastly, offering postal returns is a brilliant customer service function, however, it can be time-consuming and expensive.
To send items back to your guests in a satisfactory way, you must be able to give flexible postal options and packaging must be sufficient to keep the item protected. This comes at a cost to your hotel.
Plus, it’s an awkward scenario. Hotels may feel uncomfortable asking guests to pay for their item to be returned as we all know losing something is just a simple mistake.
However, if you offer your guest choice, flexibility and display a clear, successfully functioning process, they are happy to oblige. If the item will be returned quickly and safely, guests are willing to pay a small fee to get lost property back.
How can I recoup the costs of handling lost and found?
NotLost offers a free platform for hotels to help solve the headache of lost property.
- Upload lost items to the platform in seconds – reduce the time spent manually handling lost property
- Declutter your office space – understand clearly when you can dispose, recycle or donate lost items safely and legally.
- Direct your guests to an online lost report form – no more long phone calls with guests
- Recoup money associated with postage & packaging – use our integrated customer checkout function. The guest has full control over how and when they get their item back and can pay a small fee in seconds.
This gives your hotel a hassle-free way to get money back, eliminating all costs, so you don’t have to put your hands into your own pocket whilst delivering the best guest experience possible.
Don’t assume that the only way of generating revenue is by getting more heads on pillows. Be creative in finding new ways to generate cash flow. Look at and improve your current processes so that you work smarter and not harder!
To summarise, NotLost provides a simple and secure method to recover costs of lost property. This enables you to offer an excellent service plus generate additional revenue.
All for free. Now, where do I sign up?
Request a demo to see how our free lost property software could work for your hotel here. One of our dedicated sales team will be more than happy to show you around. We love a chat! Plus, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date with all things lost property!