The number of items lost by hotel guests each month and the time hotel staff spend looking for and returning them can be staggering—and expensive. According to the recent “Motel 6 Left behind Survey” conducted by Kelton Global, over 54 percent of travelers report that they have left something behind in a hotel room. The study also found that Americans are willing to spend (on average) up to $90 to retrieve the most important items like cell phone chargers, wallets, and passports. More than merely statistics, these numbers speak a powerful truth—that within lost and found is potential revenue. But how to put guests back together with their belongings and realize that revenue?

Bringing Lost and Found Online

While many hotels have quickly realized the need for a stellar property management system (PMS), when it comes to their lost and found, the process for most still often amounts to nothing more than a notebook or an Excel spreadsheet. Thankfully, there is a new alternative. Smart hotel lost and found technology is now geared to help streamline and automate the entire process—all while creating a new source of income for its customers.

The system works by allowing hotel guests to easily self-report lost items, simplifying the process of matching those reports to found items. It also creates update emails for both the staff and the guests so each item can be carefully tracked and reported, as well as creating a revenue stream via guest-paid shipping labels generated for hotel staff. This reporting automation can also contribute substantially to optimizing a hotel’s bottom line by freeing up staff for other more important tasks.

In about five clicks, the item can be returned to the guest. The cost of the service is minimal and builds brand loyalty at the same time.

Standing Out from the Crowd

Competition between hotels (of any size and on any level) remains strong. So it’s crucial for owners and managers to creatively consider how they can distinguish themselves from the crowd—all with the goal of achieving the highest levels of guest satisfaction, encouraging repeat stays, and generating positive word of mouth (including social media). Elevating a hotel’s lost and found process by streamlining staff and guest efforts via a smart technology solution can be the hospitality factor that makes a remarkable difference in boosting guest appreciation—and in helping to improve your bottom line.