With the rise of texting, instant chat and transcription apps, many Americans are moving away from voicemail, a tool that “once revolutionised the telephone business, displaced armies of secretaries and allowed us to eat dinner more or less in peace,” reports newspaper USA Today.
The behavioural shift is occurring as voice calls in general are on the decline, prompting more wireless carriers to offer unlimited voice minutes. USA Today published data from VoIP company Vonage, which said the number of voice-mail messages left on user accounts was down 8 percent over the last year.
Checking your voicemail seems to be an even a bigger chore than leaving a voice message. Retrieved voice mail fell 14 percent among Vonage users in the same period. “Users hate the whole voicemail introduction, prompts, and having to listen to them in chronological order,” said Vonage’s Michael Tempora.
In response to the trend Vonage has developed a new voicemail transcription service that converts voice messages for delivery as email or text. The service also emails a direct link to the voicemail audio file, letting users bypass several steps to listen to it.
“Voice transcription isn't perfect,” said Tempora. “But recipients usually understand who called and what the message is about.”