Businesses set up their voicemail to give people a response. But guess what voicemail says? “I’m unavailable to respond.” In reality voicemail is just saying, “The answer is, there is no answer.”
The paradox is in you making an effort to give your callers a response, and in them feeling that response equals neglect. It’s silently sending voicemail to its grave.
WHY BUSINESSES HAVE BEGUN PARTING WITH VOICEMAIL
Businesses have started cancelling voicemail services as a cost cutting measure. JPMorgan Chase & Co. revealed that it saved $3.2 million by terminating its voicemail services. The head of JPMorgan’s consumer and community bank considers mobile phone calls to be a factor aiding their decision.
Prior to this, Coca-Cola bid goodbye to using voicemail, saving about $100,000 annually. Coca-Cola attributes the decision to a push to “simplify how they work and increase productivity.”
It’s no wonder the voicemail response rate stands at just 4.8%. Employee time could be put to better use than opening, transcribing and deleting messages. The recorded messages are extremely short and the need for further clarification arises often, which means more lost time. Additionally, voicemail is impersonal, time-consuming, and insufficiently proactive in this fast-paced smart digital era.
Reaching voicemail is the equivalent of saying you don’t have time for your customers. It often sends confusing signals like, “I may or may not get back to you,” or “Your call has been declined.” Indeed, irony persists when customers feel they are not valued.
In the best case scenario, customers lose only their time (and their patience). But when distress meets inconvenience, eventually customers will turn to a competitor – one ready to respond with a real voice.
MILLENNIAL AND GEN Z PERSPECTIVE OF VOICEMAIL
Millennials and Gen Z start interacting with the outside world very early. It’s highly likely they’re your potential audience. Gen Z accounts for approximately 40% of all customers. They also play a role in what their parents purchase – hiking their buying power up to $600 million. 98% of Gen Z owns smartphones and spend about 21 hours on it per week.
Millennials grew up witnessing the change wrought by smartphones and internet in real-time. They form half the workforce of the U.S. 92% of millennials own cell phones. They spend up to 19 hours on them a week. Both millennials and Gen Z use the phone as their primary method of long-distance contact.
So, what do most millennials and Gen Z think about voicemail? Research reveals that people under 35 barely use it. They think it’s slow, inefficient, outdated and replaceable.
While they prefer texting, a significant number of millennials and Gen Z communicate with businesses through phone calls. Neither reaching voicemail nor taking messages is appreciated by the two generations. In fact, these messages give millennials anxiety, and many ask to “ban” it.
If millennials and Gen Z customers are part of your target audience, you might want to rethink your customer service strategy.
ALTERNATIVELY, YOU CAN USE A 24/7 LIVE ANSWERING SERVICE
Phone calls and live chat are two of the simplest solutions to identifying and addressing customer problems. When businesses don’t maintain these channels, customer questions go unnoticed.
Live Call & Chat Support
Trained agents can offer callers a real hello within seconds. They answer calls in your brand voice 24/7, be it after-hours, weekends or holidays. They can also take messages, schedule appointments, and assist your callers with relevant information. In addition, you can get live chat support through your website for those who prefer to text.
While you take care of other business priorities, agents will attend to customer calls and chats. Even fast-paced Gen Z and millennial customers will appreciate the promptness of your response.
Source: Business Insider
- In reality voicemail is just saying, “The answer is, there is no answer.”
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. revealed that it saved $3.2 million by terminating its voicemail services.
- Neither reaching voicemail nor taking voicemail messages is appreciated by Millenials and Gen Z.
- Phone calls and live chat are two of the simplest solutions to identifying and addressing customer problems.