This is Why Nobody Listens to Their Voicemail Anymore

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The majority of people who leave voicemail these days are salesmen and your parents. Things have changed! The way we communicate now is different than how we communicated even a decade ago.

This isn't just an opinion, the stats back it up! Only 33% of voicemail from business contacts are listened to, and only 18% of voicemail from unknown numbers are listened to.

When people get phone calls, particularly from numbers we don't recognize, we avoid answering them. We're afraid of telemarketers, we don't have time, we don't want to talk to anyone at the moment, etc. And so those calls roll to voicemail.

Related: 10 Reasons Millennials Aren't Answering Your Phone Calls

When we do get a voicemail, there's often no reason to listen aside from curiosity. Thus, most messages are ignored.

What's interesting is that when we see a missed call or a voicemail from someone we do know, we either text them back saying "saw you called, what's up?" Or we just call the person back.

Either way, those messages still go unheard.

Text me instead of leaving a voicemail

What most people want is to feel like they're in control. When you take a phone call or listen to a voicemail, you never really know what you're getting into.

When someone calls you, you don't know if it's going to be a 10-second heads up or a 30-minute conversation that holds up your work. People want to be in control of themselves and their schedules!

The whole not-checking-voicemail thing a fascinating study in human behavior. People instant message, text, and email all day, but most of us won't take the time to wade through a voice message.

Why not?

Because voicemail doesn't integrate well with our average day, and things that don't integrate get neglected.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Millennials Prefer Texting Over Voicemail

This is part of the reason both Coca-Cola and JP Morgan have cut voicemail from their corporate offices. It didn't flow well with daily tasks, and no one used the service!

Yet we do respond to hundreds of messages a day. We respond to emails and texts and social media IMs more times than we can count!

Why Nobody Listens to Voicemail Anymore

So if you're involved in a business that relies on communication with consumers, you need other ways of communicating with people than just calls and voicemail.

The obvious next choice is email. Emails can be great! Sadly, though, emails have an average response time of about 6 hours, and most are never opened.

Related: 15 Reasons Why I Didn't Respond to Your Email (& How to Improve)

Another option is text messaging. People text for 101 reasons every day. It has an open rate of 99+%, and the average response time for a text is within a couple of minutes.

People dislike phone calls and neglect their voicemail 80% of the time because they can't trust it and don't want to bother with it. The studies show people prefer texting.

Texting is more personal, it doesn't interrupt, and it still leaves the receiver in control of how long a conversation takes.

You're part a business that needs to communicate with people in your audience. Why not try texting professionally?

Related: 8 Reasons Why Texting is Crucial to Business Communication