Voicemail is in the past! Web and mobile-based communications are taking over as our primary means of contact. Statistics revealed by Forbes magazine indicate that 80 percent of callers who reach voice mail don’t leave messages because they don’t think they’ll even be heard. Speech technology vendor Nuance Communications recently conducted a survey with Research Now and found that 95 percent of those polled say text messaging is more convenient than voicemail.

Adam Boalt, CEO of LiveAnswer, a provider of phone support services, puts the voicemail abandonment rate at between 50 percent and 75 percent. We want instant answers! If a vendor can’t provide that, callers will look elsewhere. Companies are losing a lot of business opportunities because people are not leaving messages.

According to Nuance’s research, most voicemail messages are not heard for at least eight hours. To get voicemail messages to their intended recipients faster, many speech -to-text providers now offer voicemail transcription services. Nuance is one such company, and Dan Faulkner, its senior vice president of mobile, says the service is widely popular. “When clients get voicemail-to-text service they don’t bother listening to their voicemails anymore.” However, according to Boalt, “voicemail transcription still requires customers to leave a message, and they’re just not doing that!” Boalt suggests having a person available to answer the phone. He said, “Less than 1 percent of people will hang up on a live person!