Hanging up on voice mail

Do you find voice mail more of an annoyance than benefit? Some of America's largest companies are ditching voice mail as reported by National Public Radio.

But what are the alternatives? The major shifts from voice mail are to text message and social media.

Here are three tips to consider when dropping your voice mail:

1. Document important decisions: Text messages are great for "yes / no" questions but make sure you have documentation of decisions that impact budget or strategy. You may need that documentation later, and its an important record of the project that should be preserved.

2. Keep it short and sweet. Text messages are great for quick responses like confirming a meeting time or event address. But save the longer conversations for email; this allows you to fully flesh out your thoughts as well as being respectful of your client's time.

3. Pick up the phone. Sometimes (more often than we realize), a simple phone call will save dozens of texts or emails. In a recent phone call with a client, we were able to explain our approach and scope of work in a 10 minute call. During that time, we offered supporting information for our project approach which generated excitment about the project and a "green light" for the project. Email or text would not have allowed for that impromtu discussion.

Not ready to ditch your voice mail? Consider low cost alternatives like evoice.com where clients can leave voice mails that are transcribed and emailed to you. Now that's the best of both worlds.