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Voicemail: Marching to it's Demise?

Recently I spent some time optimizing my senior parents new voice mail system. I smiled at the irony of how much they, unlike their parents, were attached to their physical answering machine tapes and all. They couldn't understand why they received some messages on their machine and some on the voicemail. The reason of course was that they were using both and both picked up on the fourth ring. Which ever technology answered first won the message. I turned off the machine and streamlined the voicemail system and they were happy.

The BBC reports that the younger generation, who have adopted cell phones at amazing rates, are reticent to use voicemail because the realtime connections of IM(instant messaging) and SMS(text messaging) have much more immediacy than the asynchronous communication(phone tag) of voicemail.

Why is this important? Because today's teens are tomorrow's B2B customers. Knowing how their communication habits are forming will help you formulate the future of your interactive marketing communications. Customer Service by IM anyone?

My grandparents couldn't really accept a machine that answered the phone. Their messages were comical in revealing their unease at the technology. My parents have accepted the answering machine but are unsure about voicemail. I've yet to pick out the communications technology that I will fluster me toward the end of my days. I am sure I'll find something. Perhaps it will be holographic messaging.

Help me Obi-wan!

November 2, 2004 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, build credibility, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink

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Comments

Is the next step in evolution the elimination of vocal chords and an extra finger or two to type faster?

I don't mean to be curmudgeonly about this, but a vital part of communication is hearing and responding to someone's voice.

All sorts of communication mishaps occur because of tone misreadings that a smiley-face emoticon can't fully cover.

If only there were a way to meld the instantaneous element of messaging with the spoken word...(she said while cackling like a mad scientist.)

Posted by: Sarah | Nov 2, 2004 1:21:36 PM

When I first got a webtv for my stepfather he thought he had to get off email or no one else in the city could send one. Needless to say he got over it and ultimately called email the best gift he ever received because he could communicate with his children and grandchildren. He has passed away but he would have loved IM and the new tools today.

IM, Cell all miss the non-verbal component of communication which historically has been a big chunk of the content between peoples. Maybe new generations will become more astute at being effective with fewer non-verbals.

Posted by: Steve Rucinski | Nov 12, 2004 7:28:27 PM