Speech Technology Magazine

 

Visual Voicemail Captures Consumer Interest

Most people would prefer to receive voicemail displayed in an email-like inbox, a survey finds.
By Leonard Klie - Posted May 1, 2009
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When it comes to retrieving voicemail on their mobile phones, people don’t always find it convenient to dial in. Instead, a large majority would prefer visual voicemail, when phone messages are displayed in an email-like inbox with the caller’s phone number, the time of the call, and the length of the message. They even preferred this service over voicemail-to-text, when the full voice messages are converted by speech-to-text and sent to their mobile handsets as text or email messages.

In a Comverse survey of 1,700 mobile phone users in the United States and Canada, 81 percent expressed an interest in visual voicemail. Sixty-eight percent said they would consider purchasing visual voicemail if their mobile providers offered it, and nearly 40 percent said it would encourage them to use voicemail more often. 

“When we’re talking about voicemail, people still value the voice part,” says Liat Taub, director of product marketing at Comverse. “You don’t get the same value reading a message. Sometimes you want to hear the intonations, the sound of a voice.”

Visual voicemail, she adds, “can get you to the voices you want to hear more quickly and in a more efficient manner.”

Beyond the customer realm, visual voicemail also has gained interest among telephone carriers and service providers, according to Taub. The reasons, she says, are many.

“In today’s environment, you have to deliver favorable options to your customers,” Taub says. “The reasons to [offer visual voicemail] are the increase in revenue from higher voicemail penetration, a higher number of deposited messages, people listening to voicemail more often, and a higher call return rate because people are listening to messages while they’re still relevant.”

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