Lost and found services are a fundamental part of the hotel industry, to not let the customers off after the check-out
Who would not happen, being on a business or leisure trip, with the need to rent a hotel room, before leaving the accommodation, to experience the terror of forgetting something before the check-out and walk around the room many times? Who would not happen, actually, to forget something? Maybe because you were relaxed after the trip, maybe because you were on a rush for the meeting or you were running to catch the plane. In any case, frequently, the reaction that is created, when we discover to have “lost” something is a priori stress. We are stressed, even before we have actually checked whether the beauty case is still in the bathroom or the watch is still on the table, whether the charger and the jacket are still on the wardrobe. We experience this emotion because we are aware that is very difficult to track down what we might forget, and above all, to have back what we lost.
We would like to describe two different scenarios.
First scenario. We are in a facility of a famous hotel chain, usually populated by business men who are discussing important dealings on their smartphones. We are finalizing the check – out, the responsible at the reception is kindly taking care of our practice, at the same moment, the cleaner delivers to him a beauty case saying: “This item was left in room 315”. While the responsible is talking to us, he takes into custody the beauty case and he places it under his desk saying to the girl: “The occupant of room 315 just left, I keep the beauty case under the desk, so if he calls us we tell him it’s here”.
Second scenario: after a pleasant permanence in a holiday resort, staying in a four – star hotel, positively reviewed on TripAdvisor, close to the city center, we realize on the same evening we finalized the check – out to have left in the wardrobe our shirt. Being sure to receive the same attention we received in the hotel, we immediately call the responsible at the reception who took care of our practice at the moment of check – out. A bit lost, the operator is not able to answer anything except that the cleaning staff did not notify him anything. However, he promises to inquire about this issue. The following evening, since we haven’t received any further update, we call back the hotel and we talk with somebody who is not aware about our problem who says to wait for the call of the cleaning service. The next day, we receive the call from the cleaning operator who asks for further and more detailed information. The following day, the kind lady calls us back to notify us that she has discovered the shirt asking our information for the delivery and for the payment.
As we have already deeply described here, customers live the brand and the company even after the moment of purchase, after their “shopping experience” is concluded, after they swiped the credit card. However, most companies undertake the behavior that we can define as “Buy…Bye Bye”, in other words “Purchase my product and who cares about the rest!”: reducing the customer experience to the shopping experience is extremely dangerous even if the last is planned down to the minimum details. Specifically, after the purchase, the client might need assistance: the customer journey does not end with the purchase and the experience of the consumer needs to be controlled and followed accurately till the very end. Otherwise he will say “bye bye!”
In the above–mentioned cases, implementing a simple and effective Lost & Found system can bring many different advantages.
The Client: he will live a Customer Experience that stimulates such pleasant memories of his stay in the hotel that he will suggest the company to friends and colleagues who are looking for an accommodation in the same city.
The Hotel: it will have less “stuff” dispersed around the facility, starting from the Reception desk. Additionally, the hotel will create a positive feeling among its clients, improving a process that is back on the agenda every day.
The Cleaning Staff: less distractions and improved capacity to focus on the specific tasks required by the job (that do not include, of course, taking notes of clients’ details that the hotel shall have already recorded).