Our goal is to ensure that you fully understand Apple's Live Voicemail feature, and how it impacts your outbound calling strategy.
The great news is that Live Voicemail is a perfect fit with the 1-to-1 outreach model that you already embrace.
With PhoneBurner, you are ready for Live Voicemail. While you should make some adjustments to your voicemail strategy, you'll continue to dial as you always have.
Frequently asked questions
Please note: Guidance is provided based on our team's continued testing of iOS 17 including beta versions. The experience may continue to evolve now that Live Voicemail has officially launched, so experiences can not be guaranteed. We'll continue to update resources as we are aware of changes, and as new guidance is available.
What is Live Voicemail in iOS 17?
iPhones with iOS 17 transcribe voicemails in real-time, giving iPhone users the ability to screen and then accept the call. Think of it this way: Instead of voicemail being “the end of the line,” Live Voicemail gives agents a second chance to earn a live engagement.
How will Live Voicemail change the way people interact with phone calls?
Contacts are more empowered to screen calls and choose who they want to engage with, giving 1-to-1 outreach a massive edge over outdated spray-and-pray technology.
Unlike users of multi-line technology, agents using PhoneBurner are live on the line to leave a compelling and fully personalized message, dramatically increasing the opportunity to earn a live engagement.
How many phones will this impact?
Considering Apple’s US market share is around 57%, a whole lot. Live Voicemail is enabled by default on iOS 17 so as more customers download the update Live Voicemail will become more prevalent. Note: Additional factors impact whether a transcription is displayed including the status of the contact’s phone (e.g. do-not-disturb, focus mode) and the status of the number you are calling from (e.g. previously blocked, flagged as spam/scam).
When is iOS 17 available?
It's live now! iOS 17 officially launched on Monday, September 18, 2023 and Live Voicemail is enabled by default.
Which iPhones will get iOS 17?
According to Apple, iOS 17 is available on the following iPhones: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE (second generation and later), iPhone 14 (including Plus), iPhone 14 Pro.
Notable phones that do not support the update include iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and older models.
Should I update to iOS 17?
Our team has been beta testing iOS 17 without issues, but this is a personal decision that depends on a lot of factors. Live Voicemail is just one of iOS 17’s features. Do your due diligence and decide when is the right time. Once you are comfortable, updating will give you an opportunity to test the Live Voicemail feature and keep up-to-date with Apple’s ongoing modifications. If you don’t have an iPhone, consider testing with a friend who does.
What is the Live Voicemail experience when making calls?
When calling an iOS 17 device your voicemail messages will be transcribed on the contact’s phone in real-time, and if they Accept, you’ll be connected to your contact to begin your conversation. The exact experience may differ as the feature evolves, and based on a number of conditions, including: whether you’re an existing contact, previously blocked by the contact, flagged as spam/scam, and the status of the contact’s phone (e.g. locked or active).
What is the Live Voicemail experience when receiving calls?
When receiving a call on your iOS 17 device, you can expect to see a Caller ID along with certain options that may include: Accept, Block, Decline Message, or Send to Voicemail. The exact options presented to you depend on a number of factors including: whether the caller is one of your contacts (or previously blocked), whether the number is flagged for spam, and the status of your phone (e.g. locked or active).
What about landlines and Android phones?
A similar feature called Call Screen is available on some Android devices, however it is not activated by default and therefore as widely adopted - at least not yet. For now, expect the call experience to landline phones and Android devices to be unchanged, though Android adoption is likely to increase as Live Voicemail becomes more mainstream.
How good is the real-time transcription on the iPhone device?
This is obviously subjective, but the iPhone does a decent job of transcribing messages if you speak slowly and clearly. As can be expected, there are challenges with uncommon words, names, and company names.
How will I know I am calling a contact that has Live Voicemail activated?
In reality, you're not likely to. However, considering the size of Apple's smartphone market share in the US (~57%) expect that a lot of your voicemails will be screened and have potential to turn into live conversations.
What are the best practices with leaving a pre-recorded voicemail vs. a live voicemail if my contact doesn’t answer?
Keep in mind that once you click the pre-recorded voicemail button, the opportunity for a live conversation is gone - as PhoneBurner will dial your next contact. Accordingly, while 1-click voicemails will still be useful in some scenarios, the value of a live voicemail has increased significantly.Consider factors such as the value of the lead, your relationship with the contact, the pipeline stage, number of call attempts, importance of message personalization, and other factors. Whenever the value of a live conversation justifies the time invested, it's recommended to leave a live voicemail.Another option to consider is a hybrid of live and pre-recorded. You can begin leaving a short 2-3 sentence personalized live voicemail, and if it looks like no one is going to answer, use a disposition button to leave the remainder of your message. Be sure to create unique voicemails for this scenario so that your live and pre-recorded voicemails work well together.
What is a good script to follow when leaving a live voicemail?
Remember that the goal with Live Voicemail is a live answer. Here are some principles for good results:
- Be personal
- Include a time element (It’s Monday morning)
- Use the prospects name twice to show you’re not a machine
- Use appropriate pauses
- Come up with a short helpful phrase/hook based on your audience
- Be concise!
Example: Hi [NAME] (pause) [NAME], it’s Monday morning. (pause) It’s [YOUR NAME] from [COMPANY].
- I’m live here on the line to help you with
- Here to discuss (short phrase) with you
- Calling to work together on…
- Wanted to check-in/ask about (brief topic)
If there’s no answer at this point, you can continue leaving your voicemail live, or use a voicemail disposition button to leave additional information and contact details.
Does live voicemail support multiple languages?
Currently, Live Voicemail only supports English.
How does Live Voicemail protect privacy?
Live Voicemail is powered by each iPhone’s neural engine. This takes place entirely on-device to preserve privacy.
Can I turn off Live Voicemail on my own iPhone device?
Yes. You can turn off the feature on your own device from Phone settings. Visit Settings > Phone > Live Voicemail > and then toggle the switch to off.
Can I update to iOS 17 and then revert back?
Yes, but it requires erasing all of your data and returning to factory settings, so be sure to back up your data if you decide to do so.
What happens if a contact blocks my number?
If a contact blocks your number, the call will immediately be dropped (even if you are in the middle of your Live Voicemail). Your number will permanently be blocked from that contact’s phone, and subsequent calls will go straight to voicemail with no notification provided to the contact.
What if I am already a saved contact in the contact’s phone?
The experience is the same, however the name on your contact record will appear on the contact’s device.
What if the contact’s phone is in Focus or Do Not Disturb mode?
If the phone you are calling is set to “Do Not Disturb” or “Focus” mode your call will go to voicemail. A message will show on the contact’s phone and they will be able to accept the call, but the transcription will not show.
What if the contact’s phone is in Lock Screen mode?
If the contact’s phone is locked, they’ll be notified of your incoming call. If/when you begin to leave a message, it will indicate this on the screen along with the instructions “Tap to View” and an accept button. Clicking “Tap to View” will display the live voicemail transcription, again with an option to accept your call.
What if the contact’s phone is set to “silence unknown callers”?
If you are not an existing contact and the person you are calling has their phone set to "silence unknown callers," the contact's phone will not ring; however, your call will be sent to live voicemail. The contact is notified that you are leaving a message and can click "Tap to view" to read the transcription and accept your call.
What if the contact is on a phone call?
Your contact will be notified of your call and Caller ID, with the ability to either accept or decline the call. If declined or unanswered, your call will go to traditional voicemail.
What happens if my number is flagged as Spam/Scam with iOS 17?
Apple has stated that they will not transcribe any calls identified as Spam/Scam Likely by the user’s phone carrier.
Accordingly, we highly recommend you submit your numbers to the FreeCallerRegistry which is among the best ways to protect your numbers.
If you use PhoneBurner numbers, you can elect to have our team do this for you.
Still have questions?
Reach out to our support team. We’re here to help!