July 24th, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

Customer service isn’t, has never been, and never will be, an easy profession. Day in and day out, service agents interact with irritated customers who are likely to take out their anger and frustrations on anyone who will listen (or, more likely, read, considering that an increasing number of people now file their complaints via chat, social media, or email).

In an interesting experiment, chat platform provider LivePerson  set out to see just which customers are most likely to swear at service agents. By analyzing the language used in 38 million customer service chats, gathered from more than 500 companies, the vendor uncovered some fascinating facts regarding the regions and industries that are most susceptible to bad words.

According to the findings, men revert to dirty language 16.5 percent more frequently than women do when interacting with support agents. They’re also more likely to use crass words, such as the one that starts with “c”.  Women, on the other hand, tend to use softer, euphemistic words, like “gosh,” “goodness,” and “poop,” for example.

LivePerson also found that customers located in Virginia, Alaska, Iowa, Utah, and New Mexico swore the most, which is surprising to me, as someone who’s lived both in Los Angeles and New York City–cities that don’t have the greatest reputations for service interactions. Those who cursed the least were located in Hawaii, Minnesota, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Louisiana.

Another surprise is that the industries most likely to be confronted with verbal abuse include charities, nonprofits, and hospitality. The most polite customer interactions occur in the pharmaceutical, consulting, banking, energy, and financial services industries.

The rest of the results are available here. LivePerson’s post gets into details I’d rather avoid listing here, because I’d like to keep my job for now.

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