Voicemail is Dead in 2021! Or is it?
Updated: Mar 30
Over the last decade, media outlets and bloggers have been announcing the end for voicemail. Even a quick Google search for “is voicemail dead?” would have you believe this particular communication method has reached its final breath. Whether this is due to a wider range of options when it comes to communication technology, the hassle involved with traditional voicemail services, or millennials’ dislike of phone calls in general, there are several possible explanations as to why people might be questioning the worth of voicemail in 2021.
Is Voicemail use in decline?
The debate around voicemail often comes after a big-name company questions the practice. In 2014, Coca-Cola announced they would be removing voicemail from their corporate headquarters to cut costs. This wasn’t a one-off either, with investment banking company JP Morgan following suit in 2015, ditching voicemail for those employees who didn’t deal with external customers. Several other big-name companies have removed voicemail from their operations since then, which adds to the doubt cast by individuals and consumers. For instance, voicemail usage in general is down, dropping 8% since the start of this decade.
However, Vxt Director Luke Campbell believes this doesn’t necessarily signify the end of voicemail, instead it shows that the use of voicemail is evolving.
“I think that for a lot of people, they’ve seen themselves getting less voicemail over the last decade and they think that voicemail must be on the way out,” Campbell says.
“However, the amount of voicemail you receive often depends on your profession. If you’re in the technology sector, people have moved away from phone calls to email and video calls. There are many roles and situations where a video call isn’t appropriate though. If you’re a real estate agent or in recruitment for example, you probably receive heaps of phone calls all the time and you often miss a lot. If you asked these types of businesses, I think you’d find that voicemail usage hasn’t changed at all or in some cases has increased.”
Why are some people using voicemail less?
In a business sense, voicemail has been replaced somewhat with contact forms, emails and direct messaging. Another reason for the decline in voicemail is that cultural norms have changed. For many of those in the millennial age bracket, calling is not the main form of digital communication. Instead, this has been replaced with instant messaging. The tendency for younger people to type rather than call has led to a decline in voicemail, however Campbell believes this divide is more a professional gap than a generational one.
“Oftentimes when we’re talking to clients, they will say that they receive a lot of voice messages but their kids don’t often make phone calls,” Campbell says.
“There’s usually a misunderstanding here though, because typically they’re talking about their kids in high school. Young people often don’t receive voicemail though because they don’t necessarily have a job where they’re communicating with people in a really formal way. There’s also a distinct difference between how you communicate with your mates compared to how you would talk with work colleagues or clients. If I’m calling a friend, or someone I’ve worked with for a long time, most of the time, I don’t leave them a message. However, if you're dealing with someone new in a professional environment and its a more formal relationship, you’re much more likely to leave a voicemail message.”
Voicemail is still alive in Consumer to Business Communications
Although it might be true that millennials are less likely to call each other, this is true only in the consumer to consumer space. James is most likely going to message (and not call) Steph to decide where to meet up for a drinking session in town this weekend. Steph will reply in her own time.
However, when it comes to consumer to business communication, voice messages and calls are the predominant way a consumer will reach a business. For instance, James will not message the local party supply if there’s an issue with the decorations he hired. Instead, he will call the store. If James calls on the weekend or after hours, at least he then has the option to leave a voicemail. It also works from a business to consumer sense too, with the ability to leave a voice message allowing a business to build trust with consumers. It can also bring context to calls from unknown numbers that would have otherwise been blocked or ignored.
From these examples it is clear that voicemail is still widely used, even if it may be in decline amongst the general population. Perhaps instead of dying though, voicemail is simply changing, or evolving. So what does this change actually mean?
Newer Technologies Challenging Inefficiencies of Voicemail
Outside of the common misconceptions about young people no longer having a desire to use voice messages, the most obvious reason voicemail use is falling is because it is inefficient. Oftentimes listening to voicemail means going through every individual message in chronological order, and listening to it in its entirety. It’s not hard to see how time consuming this process becomes. Simply put, they are a pain for the recipient.
Nevertheless, technology like voicemail doesn’t just disappear. In fact, in New Zealand alone, more than 2 million voicemails are left every day. While technology experts state that voicemail is being used less, no one can say that voicemail is dead across the board. There is currently no replacement for the emotion and tone that can be conveyed in a voice message. Even as messaging evolves, the need to send quick voice messages will continue in some way, shape, or form. Newer technologies are challenging voicemail’s inefficiencies and have encouraged people to adjust to alternatives rather than stick with an outdated voicemail system.
Vxt Voicemail - A Better Way?
A Visual Voicemail app like Vxt Voicemail can help you save hundreds of hours in time spent checking voicemail messages. Visual voicemail apps like Vxt transcribe your messages so you can quickly read and prioritise them without having to spend minutes or even hours listening to every single one. You don't even need to dial anything to find out who left the call, how long the message lasted or what the content of the message was. Also, instead of listening in chronological order, as is the case with regular voicemail, you can read visual voicemail in any order.
There are lots of other associated tasks with voicemail as well, such as following up and organising meetings, which make this time sink even bigger. Vxt can save business owners a significant amount of time that would usually be spent checking voicemail messages, allowing them to focus on more important tasks. This software is also useful for those hard of hearing. Vxt is allowing business owners and individuals to save loads of time and improve relationships with voicemail to email forwarding, contact-based greetings, and business and after-hours greetings that change automatically. All of these features and more makes it faster to sort through and easier to manage missed calls and voice messages.
Why Choose Vxt?
Vxt Voicemail and Vxt Call are flexible, allowing you to access your voice messages from any of your devices — mobile phone, desk phone, or computer. You can connect your mobile device to Vxt and log in online or download the app. With Vxt you can also use your business phone number from any location, create extensions, for yourself and your company/team.
Tackling the pet hate of many — having to check voicemail messages — Vxt is a visual voicemail app that is quickly gaining popularity worldwide. Humans can speak faster than we can type. We can also read almost twice as fast as we can speak or listen and that’s what makes visual voicemail so great. Visual voicemail with speech recognition software means you can check your voicemails as quickly as an email.
Since launching, Vxt has processed more than 1,000,000 voicemail calls for tens of thousands of users and has launched in the NZ, AU, US, UK and Canada. The app has been downloaded more than 40,000 times.
“Vxt is voicemail made easy,” Campbell says.