When is the last time you made a telephone call either for business or for personal reasons and talked to a “real human being” right off the bat? Why am I asking this question? The reason is frustration, disbelief, being treated downright rudely and a feeling of being abused by the use of voicemail.
I don’t know about you, but it seems that too many people over use and abuse the technology of voice mail in their professional lives. If I have heard the message, “I am sorry I can’t take your call right now, but your call is important to me so please leave a message and I will get back to you, (a) as soon as I can, (b) whenever I get around to it (c) when hell freezes over (d) when my hunchback brother Benny straightens up.” The sarcasm is mine obviously but the feeling that prompts the sarcasm is real. Why? Because my recent experience is that eight out of ten people don’t return calls. It is maddening. If they don’t want to talk just say so. Don’t waste people’s time.
More importantly, wouldn’t it be a better business practice to talk to prospective customers/clients as opposed to sending them to voicemail hell. Talking to a real live human being in 2013 appears to be a novel idea. What is meant to be a time saver is actually a time waster, in my opinion, especially for the caller. What is happening? Are the machines faulty and not delivering the message? Is it that the person gets overwhelmed by so many messages they just give up on returning the calls? Or, is voicemail the new “gatekeeper” only in robot form?
I believe it is time for business people to grow up and answer the phone or have someone do it for them. Or here is a good idea, return the call you say is “so important.” I believe doing so will improve your bottom line and lower the blood pressure of all those waiting and waiting and waiting for you to call them back. You will be surprised how powerful a real human voice can be.