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A new opportunity for excellent customer service

With shopping centres introducing magic mirrors, fast lanes and bespoke bargains into their immersive shopping centre experience, shoppers’ expectations of what counts as excellent customer service are changing. A real emphasis on customers having a great experience in every interaction with centre staff is clearly helping the best shopping centres across the UK differentiate themselves.

Opportunities to delight customers when handling lost property may not be the first example you think of when it comes to great customer experience, but here at NotLost we believe it is. It’s easy for a purse or set of keys to be momentarily placed down by any shopper and to be forgotten. Accidents happen. The way in which the accident is resolved will really resonate with customers, and if done effectively will save your staff time and energy. A real win-win.

Frustrated customer lost property solution software

No one wants a shopping experience to include a frantic search through your pockets and bags; painfully realising a wallet is lost somewhere between Topshop and Pret.

We find that shopping centres across the board are very conscientious with their customers possessions. They will take lots of steps to thoroughly register the item details as well as ensure it is stored securely. The ultimate aim is to return each item that is lost to its rightful owner. For the shopper that has misplaced their item, this can be a particularly frustrating time. For the shopping centre staff, managing the situation effectively can be the difference between a good and a bad customer interaction.

For better or worse, visitors that have had a sub-optimal experience will often take to social media or trip advisor to vent their frustration about items vanishing. We believe it is in everyone’s interest to minimise the likelihood of an interaction like this by putting in place best practises. This helps ensure a prompt and accurate response to each enquiry related to lost property.

Bad-lost-property-experience-shopping-centre

Recent review left about major London shopping centre
– image source (Trip Advisor)

Lost Property Offices

Ultimately, if a customer misplaces a bag of shopping or something that holds sentimental value, they will make every effort to get their item back. It is at this precise moment where an opportunity to surprise a customer with excellent service arises.

Typically, the bar set for a lost property office is reasonably low; you are expected to look for the item and respond to the customer about their item within, say, 5 minutes. However, depending on the size of the centre and number of locations that found items may have been handed in; it’s not always easy to locate an item within 5 minutes. This may result in asking security to look around the centre, or radioing other areas of the centre to check. The lack of visibility can, in some cases, cause the already frustrated customer to wait. 

But what if things were different? What if you could say categorically if the item has been found anywhere across the site, within a matter of seconds? How would that change the interaction?

%

70% of unhappy customers will shop with a business again if their issue is resolved. 
– 
Glance

Knowledge is power, and knowing if you have the item or not can resolve the shoppers frustration as quickly as possible. It has been said that people should lose things on purpose, just to sense how amazing it feels to get something back. Every day across the UK thousands of lucky people are reunited with their items, and celebrating this magical moment is something that is rarely considered to be opportunity for great customer experience. Why? Here at NotLost we are proud to say that we are changing that by using state-of-the-art technology to solve a variety of issues related to lost property.

It is also worth noting that valuable staff time can be consumed registering and chasing down lost property. Fortunately, technology is assisting in the hunt for wayward coats and purses. By improving the speed in which items can be registered, having images of the items and being able to search across the entire centre. Today this approach means that shopping centres including the London Designer Outlet and Icon at the O2, can respond effectively to customer enquiries. This frees up their staff’s time and ensures each enquiry is handled with accuracy and care.

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Average time taken in seconds to register an item of lost property.

NotLost: 10 seconds
Manual Process: 2 minutes
  • NotLost item upload (10 Secs)
  • Manual Process (2 mins)

Our unique quick upload feature allows staff to register found items within 10 seconds from a smartphone/device. All staff need to do is take a photo and log its location. Then the powerful image recognition software can identify and produce descriptions for most submitted items. This saves time manually filling out spreadsheets and instantly provides transparency for items across the whole shopping centre.

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At the other end of the search, customers can use an online form to input their contact details, description of their item, and date it was lost. The platform notifies the shopping centre staff of the report to be matched from the found items in its database. Staff can then respond to customer enquiries about lost property in less than 40 seconds.

In conclusion…

NotLost also has plans for items which unfortunately are never matched and never find their home. They can either help shopping centres recycle items, donate them to charity, or dispose of data sensitive items ethically.

If you found any value within this case study, NotLost may be the solution your business is looking for. Keep up to date with us via our Facebook and LinkedIn channels for more case studies. As well as creating premium lost and found software, we’re also regularly looking into all aspects of our respective market sectors. For a full product demo on how our lost and found software can improve experience and efficiency at your shopping centre, visit our contact us page today.

If you missed part 1 check that out here.