Fewer and fewer professionals are struggling with voicemail as a productivity problem. Many people don’t get any voicemails.
In this video, Dr. Melissa Gratias asks for your input on the state of voicemail. Is it still a useful business tool?
Don’t want to watch the video? A transcript is below.
Hi, my name is Dr. Melissa Gratias, and I’m a productivity specialist. I help overworked and overwhelmed people feel focused, balanced, and successful.
Today I am doing a video, and for the first time, I’m asking you for help. I want to start a conversation about something instead of giving you tips to do things better. So, if that doesn’t appeal to you, bye-bye! Kidding.
I want to talk to you about voicemail. The question I’m asking is:
Do we do we even need voicemail anymore?
Do we even need it? It’s an honest question I have for you. In my business, 99% of my correspondence is done via email.
I’ve been working with clients since 2007, and I hardly ever get requests to help people be more productive with voicemail. In the past five years, less than five clients have even said, “Voicemail is a problem for me. I need a solution for voicemail.” And, all of those clients were attorneys, interestingly enough.
In those three or four cases, what we ended up doing was having the attorney’s administrative support person access the attorney’s voicemail once a day, between 3:00 and 4:00, listen to the voicemail messages, delete them, and then put the voicemail either in an email message to the attorney or directly on the attorney’s Outlook Tasks list (or Trello board or whatever it is we ended up using for them for task management).
The attorney would record an outgoing message saying, “Hi you reached ‘Super Lawyer’. This voicemail box is checked between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. every day. Your message will be returned by close of business the following day. If you have an urgent request, please email me at such-and-such address.”
That ended up being their solution. It wasn’t overly burdensome on the support person because it was a once-a-day thing, and it meant that the attorney didn’t have to be constantly checking their voicemail.
So, that that’s all I’ve done with voicemail in the past five years.
My personal voicemails for my business are transcribed and emailed to me. I don’t even have a sophisticated phone system. The transcription is reasonably accurate, and if it’s not, I can click the audio file on the email and listen to it.
There are people in the securities industry who don’t even want their clients leaving voicemails. When I call my financial planner, his voice mail says, “Don’t leave trading information with his voicemail. It cannot be honored.” So, people in that industry probably wish that people wouldn’t leave them voicemails.
Then you add on this issue that occasionally I do call some poor soul who still tries to change their voicemail greeting every day. The message is, “Hi this is so-and-so. Today is such-and-such date. I’m in and out of the office. Leave a message.” Usually that message is three or four days old. I’m thinking, “Oh, you poor person, why do you feel like you still need to do this?” I barely even feel the need to change my out of office voicemail greeting.
So, my question for you: What’s the deal with voicemail for you nowadays?
Is it something you even use…that you need for your business?
What would happen to you if it went away entirely? Would you suffer? Would your clients suffer? Would your friendships suffer?
Is it a problem, or is it so very manageable nowadays that it is not even a blip on our radars of productivity?
Do we even need voicemail anymore?
Please respond to this question in the comments section of my blog. I would love to get in a conversation with you about it.
This is Dr. Melissa Gratias. If you like my videos, you would love coaching with me. Reach out, and let’s schedule a phone call where we can both determine if productivity coaching is the right thing for you. Have a wonderful and productive day. Bye, bye!
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Dr. Melissa Gratias (pronounced "Gracious") is a work psychologist who helps overwhelmed and underappreciated businesspeople be more focused and effective. Since 2007, thousands of people have graduated with honors from her onsite sessions, distance coaching, productivity seminars, and corporate consulting projects. Based in Savannah, Georgia, Melissa is available for nationwide consulting and speaking engagements. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 912-417-2505. Sign up for her free monthly e-newsletter or visit her website, melissagratias.com.