Voicemail Technology Just Sucks

Sitting in a meeting this evening with some prospects we were talking about Comcate’s case-management technology when it comes to emails or logged phone calls (and our partnerships with IVR firms) and we got off on a tangent about how voicemail technology really just sucks. There’s nothing I hate more than hearing I have 3 new voicemail messages and having to sit through each of them, press 7 to delete or 9 to save, and then waiting for the next one. Even worse is when you pull up old voicemails and have to listen through tons of messages just to get the one you want.

Bottom line – I want all my voicemails converted to email-able sound bites that I can sort and listen to in my email client. Automatically.

6 comments on “Voicemail Technology Just Sucks
  • Ben,

    In fact you can have such a thing right now. There are a ton of services that do this (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=email+voice+mail&btnG=Google+Search). I’ve never used any of them so I can’t really say what works, might be a good question for Ask MetaFilter if you are interested in this a lot (check it out, ask.metafilter.com, pay $5 to join and from there you can ask as many questions as you want. As Kevin Kelly put it in Cool Tools, it’s like having a couple thousand of your smartest buddies ready to take your questions).

    The basic idea behind these services is that of Unified Messaging (http://dmoz.org/Computers/Data_Communications/Unified_Messaging/), basically that you have all your messages in one place, be them emails, voice mails, pages, etc…

    Of course, I tend to steer people towards email instead of calling me. I can respond to my email faster than I can respond to a phone call and there’s no pressing 7, 9, 7, etc… and waiting to hear the date and time repeated to me.

  • Thanks Zach, I now remember some of these services but hadn’t thought of them at the time of my post. What I really want is Verizon Wireless to incorporate these types of services.

    Ask MetaFilter is interesting – I’ve used Google Answers before.

    In the end, we both steer our constituents toward email, as do most people I think nowadays. It’s just easier to deal with.

  • Ben,

    Here at Symphoniq, we have a Praxon digital PBX that lets us get voicemails as emails, delete voicemails from the server, and listen to voicemails from any phone in the company. It wasn’t that expensive either.

  • Hi Ben,

    I got an email in my hotmail account from this company called GotVoice. Looks like they’re doing exactly what you want in changing voicemails to emails. Here’s the url if you want to give it a shot.

    http://trial.gotvoice.com/netsignup/flash/

    I was wondering if anyone else has tried it, because I can’t find anyone who knows anything about it. I think I will signup and find out for myself.

  • Dwayne, thanks for noticing us! Dwayne got an invitation to a trial we at GotVoice are doing with Hotmail in Los Angeles.

    Ben, GotVoice does just what you are asking for. Among other things, we pull voicemail off cellular and residential voicemail systems and place it in your email account.

    We currently support providers in Seattle, Honolulu and LA. We are rolling out to the top 10 metro areas next Friday, June 10th. Give us a try, and if anyone is reading this from LA, go to our website–www.gotvoice.com and signup for the free 90 day trial.

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