Voicemail is the ability to leave a voice recording conveying a message to either an individual or business.

In call centres, voicemail is typically the last resort if the call centre is unable to handle the call volumes, wait times exceed certain limits or if they are closed.

Why use voicemail in a call centre?

Let me blunt.

If you are serious about the customer experience in your call centre you just don’t use it.


Full stop.

Customers are calling you for a reason – normally because they want help, want to purchase something, need to report something etc.

So if they are being forced to leave a message its most certainly not what the customer would have preferred.

OK, maybe that was a bit harsh.

Sure, there are cost considerations.

If your call centre stands to only receive 1 call between the hours of midnight and 8 am then it certainly doesn’t make sense to pay an agent for an eight-hour shift to handle one call.

Unless it was an emergency services call centre.

But during your advertised business hours (like what I did there?) there is now no reason for customers to receive a voicemail.

With technology such as Automated Callback and Intelligent Callback, customers can retain their position in the queue without the need to leave a message.

When is Voicemail OK to use in a call centre?

If your call centre is closed for the day, some call centres prefer to offer customers the opportunity to leave a voicemail message during the out of hours period.

The voicemail messages are then normally screened in the morning and the customers called back as resources allow.

If you only expect to get a few messages this approach is OK.

But if your voicemail is receiving hundreds of messages each evening, that’s going to require some serious resources to clear the following day.

And if you are receiving that many voicemail messages, perhaps your opening hours should also be reviewed?

Recommended further reading: Benefits of new (cloud-based) contact centre technology

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