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Is it time to kill voicemail?

Coca Cola joined the growing ranks of companies that are abandoning voicemail, so people who call the company may be hearing a message saying — like mine does — to text me.

The transition went live this month, and only 6% of employees opted to keep voice mail.

The motivation wasn’t cost savings, but to ‘simplify the way we work, and increase productivity’ according to CIO Ed Steinike.

Voicemail on a desk phone in the office just doesn’t make sense in a mobile world, where most people give out their cell phone to colleagues, family, and friends. The benefits are slight when balanced with the need to play back the messages at the start or end of the day.

Vonage reported in 2012 that year-over-year voicemail count dropped 8%, and an additional 8% in 2013. A Pew Internet study shows that Millennials are texting more and talking on the phone less. Even my Boomer wife has transitioned to voice-to-text on her iPhone, and sending that as text.

Paradoxically, as we transition to using mobile devices, and our closest colleagues, friends, and family use that number, the only people calling business numbers are customers or business partners. Voicemail is not the best user experience for them, anyway. It would be better all around to leave a message with the mobile number and asking people to text. That’s best practice in 2015. So text me first, and then we’ll talk.