In news that will surprise no one, voicemail is becoming passé. While there may come a time in the future when voicemail is looked back upon fondly as a retro relic of our history, it’s currently seen as the annoying status quo that is quickly going the way of the yellow pages, 411 and busy signals.
Nobody is sad to see voicemail go. Here are a few reasons why:
How many times have you sat down to listen to voicemails, only to find that half of them consist of the person hanging up? Multiply that across the hundreds or thousands of calls your company receives each year, and you’ll see that hours upon hours of your valuable time are being wasted. There’s also the annoyingly slow process of going through these messages on a voicemail system that has a million options and starts from the beginning after you delete each message. Voicemail is a lesson in frustration for both the caller and for the person who eventually has to wade through their inbox.
Nobody Checks Voicemail
Picture this: it’s your day off, and your cell phone rings. You don’t recognize the phone number, so you let it go to voicemail. You see that the caller has left a message, but at the same moment, you get a notification from your favorite app or an incoming text from a friend. The voicemail has left your priority list before even truly registering there. It’s often not until our voicemail box is full that we bother going through the messages. It’s something we’re all guilty of doing.
Now apply this same principle to your business phone. Even if it is someone’s dedicated job to listen to voicemail messages, it’s not a particularly interesting or challenging duty. Chances are good they’re putting off this task until they absolutely have to. When they do get around to going through new voicemails, callers may have already solved their problem or reached out through another medium to contact you. This creates time wasting redundancy that nobody is happy about.
Voicemails are Often Unhelpful
When is the last time a voicemail contained all the information you needed? Probably never, right? The reality is that humans are terrible at leaving messages, especially when the pressure of recording is scrambling our brains. People have a tendency to leave out important details about who they are, why they are calling and how to get in touch with them. Inadvertent as these mistakes might be, they often leave voicemail recipients questioning what to do next. So you hunt for their number to call them back (in hopes you don’t reach their voicemail) just to get the rest of the info you need to re-follow up.
Callers Will Look Elsewhere
In a crowded market, your availability is often the only thing setting you apart from competitors. Our society has become increasingly plugged in; everyone and everything needs to be available around the clock. When a customer gets sent to your voicemail, it’s often their cue to give your competition a call instead. A missed call is usually a missed opportunity, even when voicemail is an option. Every call that goes unanswered potentially costs your business money. At the very least, it’s a lost chance to provide great service and give someone a positive impression of your company.
Other Methods of Messaging are Better
It might seem ironic, but voicemail actually makes it more challenging to get a hold of people. Consider the ways you contact your friends and family on a daily basis. Rarely, if ever, do we leave voicemails for social calls. And if you receive one, how often do you just call them back instead of listening to the message? Instead, we rely on texting, instant messaging options on social media, and email. The way we communicate outside the office is changing, so we should be prepared to evolve the way we communicate inside the office, too. Chances are good you’ve already got a social media manager fielding messages on Facebook and Twitter, but adding a live chat option to your website is also a good way to stay instantly available to your customers.
It’s One More Inbox to Manage
You’ve got your email inbox, your text messaging app, your direct message inbox on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, not to mention your work instant message and email inboxes, too. Your voicemail is yet another inbox to keep on top of, to update when you’re heading out of town, and to wade through when you return. Simply managing all of these inboxes threatens productivity in a very real way. Why not eliminate the one that is the least helpful?
If you’re ready to cut the cord on voicemail, MAP Communications can help. A leader in the answering service industry, we’ve helped combat voicemail fatigue and frustration for nearly thirty years. Do your team and your customers a favor by having a live receptionist answer every call that comes your way. You’ll never wade through a long list of voicemail options only to listen to someone hang up on you or leave incomplete info again! Give MAP a try with our free, week-long trial of our live answering service. To get started, simply fill out this form and one of our friendly team members will be in touch.