Debate Rages On About Whether Voicemails Count as Abandoned Calls

Should a Customer Leaving a Voicemail Message Count as an Abandoned Call?

We asked the LinkedIn professionals who follow our company page ‘Should a customer leaving a voicemail message count as an abandoned call?’

235 professionals cast their votes, and the results shine an intriguing spotlight on the debate over what contact centres think should be counted as an abandoned call.

Should a Customer Leaving a Voicemail Message Count as an Abandoned Call?
Is a Voicemail an Abandoned Call Response %
Yes 37%
No 54%
It Depends 9%

54% of respondents believed a voicemail was not an abandoned call. One of the reasons behind this was that if the voicemail is simply treated as a prompt for a callback, with sufficient follow-up processes in place, then there is no need to count it as an abandoned call.

However, 37% of respondents stated that a voicemail was an abandoned call, with some suggesting that receiving voicemails is indicative of mismanaged call volumes and a poor customer experience.


All of these points and more were elaborated on by several industry professionals, who added additional comments to the poll, which we wanted to share with you:

Three Factors to Consider

  • If you forced it to voicemail, yes!
  • If you have the option before your targeted ASA and they opted for VM, no.
  • If the option was used after your targeted ASA, yes.

Thanks to Thomas

A VM Is an Abandoned Call

My group is 24x7x365 so yes, a VM is an abandoned call in my world!

Thanks to Jason

Not If It’s a Callback

Who does message taking?! If the customer gets a callback, then no it’s not. If indeed it’s just a voicemail, then it absolutely counts as an abandoned call.

Thanks to Catherine

VM Leaves a Bad Impression of the Company

Yes. For individuals, voicemails can be useful, but for a group or a call centre, it’s terrible. If your call centre is so busy (or inefficient) a call ends up in VM then when is that VM listened to or dealt with? What impression are you leaving the customer with?

Thanks to Scott

More Often Than Not Voicemail Is an Abandon

Depends on the circumstances, but more often than not voicemail is an abandon.

If the caller is informed that there is a minimal queue but opts into voicemail anyway, then probably not.

If, however, there is no queue notice or voicemail is a straight failover when all lines are busy, then voicemail represents an abandon. No one was available to provide support on the caller’s preferred channel at the time support was needed.

Thanks to Doug

If the Lines Are Busy Then It’s Abandoned

Depends. If the caller has only left a VM because the lines were busy, then this is an abandoned call – they wanted to speak to someone but had to make an alternative selection.

If the caller has chosen to leave a VM as this is a personal preference for them, it should not be counted as ‘abandoned’ but rather a choice in a different contact method type.

You can monitor this based on when and where in your IVR experience you are offering or referencing the VM option, or you could even ask the caller.

Thanks to Amy

For more information on calls, read these articles next:

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 21st Sep 2023 - Last modified: 26th Sep 2023
Read more about - Contact Centre Research,

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