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Voice Mail Messages Millennials Hate!

Another day, another article about Millennials. This time it is about Millennials hating Voice Mail messages. Here is an article: in the New York Times. Apparently “Millennials” don’t like leaving voice mail messages (who does?) but more significantly, they don’t like receiving them, because they will have to listen to them. And why can’t the person text them, or use social media? Why indeed!

I always feel quite uncomfortable about reports like this: particularly when they are reported that ‘ALL’ Millennials (i.e. a significant number of people) have a preference for something. Not only are there exceptions to any rule, but there is so much Millennial bashing in the media, that the research is always twisted.

We were all young once, and “Millennials” are no exception. I HATED leaving voicemail messages when I was first in business – like many other people, but recognised that this was preferable to not leaving a message at all. But leaving a message does require some pre-planning, in case you do have to leave a message. Otherwise you end up rambling and the listener is going to switch off. Yes: this has happened to me; I hold up my hand as guilty! But I would suggest that if you are planning to call someone, you will have an agenda, and if you have to leave a voice mail message “Hello, this is Susan HW calling on xxx date xxx time. My number is xxxxxxx” is sufficient.

But there are two other facts that are interesting: there are plenty of people who check WHO called; so if you haven’t left a message, they are wondering why you called them. This might disrupt their day and in my opinion, unless you text, it’s rather rude. They end up calling you or texting you.

But another feature of the article is that “Millennials” prefer to text, or message via whatsapp or other app. They don’t listen to voice mail messages. So perhaps we should be considering HOW we interact with Millennials: text, email, message instead. BUT this is a two way conversation. Other generational groups, prefer other methods of communication. So if you are a Millennial communicating with a Gen X or Baby Boomer, you will need to step up and leave those voice mail messages. These groups won’t necessarily respond to texting instead.

In the end communication is all about understanding your audience and what is the best method of communication for them. In order to be successful we all have to step out of our comfort zone to engage with our potential customers.

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