Wait, you don't? You view checking voicemail as a chore too? Well, you're not alone!
At one time voicemail was a disruptive and innovative new technology. Who can forget their first answering machine in the '80s? We used to have some fun with those recording greetings!
However, like all technologies voicemail's utility has diminished over the years. Now there are far more efficient messaging services available. Text messages, instant messages via social media, and emails are all a more robust and effective way to deliver a message.
My disdain for voicemail stems from my days in the mobile industry within the B2B channel. In one of the positions, I had a colossal client base that I was responsible for managing. I was constantly bombarded with calls from customers.
I would get out of meetings, and the icon would always be lit up on my phone.
Here's the root of my frustration with this clunky process:
- Dial into voicemail
- "Please enter your password."
- "You have... Seven... Unheard messages. To listen to your messages press 1."
- "Your message from 9...8...0...4...6...1...9...8...9...9 sent Thursday... September, 19th 2016... at... 4:30 pm.
Then, sometimes I'd have to listen to the same message three times just to get a return phone number because the recording broke up right when the person was leaving their number.
To this day, I still cringe when I see a voicemail notification on my phone.
People who leave numerous voicemails can become viewed negatively by their peers and clients.
For many, checking voicemails is a productivity killer. It's a slow and cumbersome process that makes the user feel like they are using ancient tech to do their job when there are more efficient messaging services available.
Still not convinced voicemail is a huge waste of time in business?
Consider my list of eleven things you can do from a text message, instant message, or email that you can't do with voicemail.
1) Send a clickable phone number in the message.
2) Attach a picture or video.
3) Attach a file.
4) Send a link.
5) Send a list without the recipient having to find a way to record the info.
6) Check it discretely.
7) Reply quickly.
8) Easily forward it.
9) Make it a group message.
10) Immediately refer to it.
11) Exchange information efficiently and accurately.
While communication over the phone remains essential for business, to stay productive, I recommend scheduling important calls.
Nothing is worse than the dreaded game of phone tag, where one voicemail can easily turn into two, three, four, or more! Going through the slow process for voicemail described above only to hear the person on the other end say, "tag you're it," is like hearing fingernails on the chalkboard for me.
And then there's everybody's favorite the "butt dial message." You see a missed call from that person and the voicemail icon. You think to yourself, "wow if they called me and left a message it must be important." Utter disappointment and frustration sink in when there is nothing but silence on the message.
Then, you waste more time by sending that person a text telling them that they "butt dialed" you, but you feel the need to let them know so they don't do it again.
Research done by the New York Times suggests that Millennials almost never use voice mail and many don't bother checking it.
I realize there are still those that swear by voicemail and use it regularly in business. However, consider that the telegraph was once an innovative form of communication!
When it comes to doing business efficiently, I say it's time to hang up on voicemail.