Friday, February 20, 2015

The end of voicemail?

How often do you pick up your voicemail? That flashing red light on your phone is a reminder that someone is trying to reach you. Depending on your role, this can be a positive thing or a distraction.

But our attitudes to voicemail are changing. Especially with the new generation of workers, voicemail is on the way out; they don't want to use it. A November 2014 article in Destination CRM Magazine, business voicemail goes unanswered. We desire other ways to connect than just the telephone.

The article highlights the customer service end of voicemail: callers don't want to leave voicemail anymore. Citing Forbes, 80 percent of callers who reach voicemail do not leave messages because they don't think anyone will listen to them. "Everyone is looking for instant gratification, and if you can't provide that...a lot of times they'll simply hang up," says Adam Boalt, CEO of LiveAnswer.

I, for one, have changed my opinion on voicemail. I used to check voicemail three times a day: in the morning when I arrived, after I got back from lunch, and at the end of the day before I went home. This allowed me to stay on top of messages and respond in a timely manner. But as times change, I do find fewer people leave voicemail. If the caller isn't able to reach me via phone, they may try to send email instead. My friends rarely leave voicemail; they text me.

In my personal life, I am an avid user of Google Voice. This not only manages my voicemails via a mobile or web interface, Voice also automatically transcribes my voicemails and sends me a text. So if I miss a call and the caller leaves voicemail, I'll get the message via text after a few minutes. As the article says, it's instant gratification.

Do you still use voicemail? How do you stay connected?
photo: spDuchamp

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