J.P Morgan Chase & Co has started to cut voicemail services for some of its consumer-bank employees as means to cut down expenses and increase profits at the nation’s largest banks.
J.P Morgan is one of a small but growing number of large employers that have re-considered the need for office voicemail. It has eliminated the voice mail service for nearly half of its 136,000 employees in the recognition that voicemail is being taken over by text messages and emails. Last year, Coca-Cola Co, gave employees the option to eliminate voicemails.
“We realized that hardly anyone uses voicemail anymore, because we are carrying something in our pockets that get texts, e-mail or a phone call to you,” said Gordon Smith, the head of the bank’s consumer and community banking division, at an investors conference. He made a point to show how it could cut cost of nearly $2 billion in the annual expenses by 2017.
The voicemail service is still available for the employees who directly interact with the employees. It has been eliminated for employees who do not have the chance to interact with the customers like information technology or operations, said Patricia Wexler, a spokesperson from the company. Discussion is still on regarding to keep it for employees who need it.
The process to remove voice mails began few months ago and goes on every month based on the business that really require the access to voicemails. The voicemails are being replaced by a common message that informs the person is not available and asking the person to get back sometime later, said Wexler.
Though the spokesperson did not reveal data on the number of the voicemail boxes being eliminated but said the bank is discarding nearly 65% of its boxes. The department expects to save nearly $3.2 million per year with this elimination. Considering $120 is saved person per year, the total implies that more than 26,000 boxes are closed. The company was taken in surprise when the employees showed positive response to the change and wanted the voicemail removed immediately as they considered it as a trouble. Also, unused voicemail accounts open for employees can add up to a significant cost for large employers like J P Morgan.