How much time do you spend listening to voicemail?

I got a call from the VP of Global Public Relations of a partner of ours who wanted to discuss a joint big deal our two companies are working on. They left a message setting the context for the call, and a number for me to reach.

I called back and left a message with my contact details and confirming that I had received her message.

She called me back, leaving a second message.

And, then finally, I called her (at an odd time when I was waiting to board the plane at the end of a Friday in Central Time, and she was in Pacific Time) and got a-hold of her.

This kind of painful experience, more commonly known as Voice Mail Tag, is a great waste.

People often call three times before connecting with their intended party (I call, leave message; you call me back, leave message; I call you back, we connect.) Being able to close the loop in one call eliminates the other two, saving an average 3.5 minutes per employee per day–time wasted attempting to call, listening to and leaving messages.

Find me/follow me does carry some time cost; the system may spend 30 seconds trying to locate the called party. This isn't such an expense, if in fact you do end up reaching the person you had wanted to call in the first place.

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