Customer service professionals undoubtedly deal with difficult people and situations daily. As they work to help customers solve issues, they might be met with a sincere “thank you” or what could constitute as verbal harassment.
To get to the bottom of how consumers act toward customer care professionals, LivePerson analyzed millions of conversations across more than 500 brands, studying both “hard” and “soft” curse words and phrases and breaking out data points across demographics. Unsurprisingly, customers were better behaved when their names were attached to the exchange and ruder when protected by a mask of anonymity — 76% polite vs. 72% polite, respectively.
Key findings include:
What we call “soft curses” are the non-curse expressions — like “shoot,” “shucks,” and “heck” — that often act as polite stand-ins for more inflammatory remarks. “Hard curses” are those that would get your mouth washed out with soap.
See the good, the bad, and the ugly below.
U.S. Consumers’ Favorite Curses
Overall, soft curse words were used more frequently across the country: “Stupid,” “shoot,” and “goodness” nabbed the top three spots. Things quickly devolved, with “sh*t” and “f*ck” landing at #4 and #5, respectively, for the top hard and soft curses used.
Top 5 soft curses:
Top 5 hard curses:
“Ps and Qs” across state lines
States that cursed the most were Virginia, New Mexico, Alaska, Iowa, and Utah — with Iowa and Washington leading the states in hard curses. Idaho, Ohio, and Nevada followed as the states more likely to use hard curse words. Leading the states in soft curses were Virginia, New Mexico, Alaska, Utah, and North Dakota.
Conversely, the most used polite terms, in order of frequency, were “thank you,” “please,” “no problem,” “appreciate,” and “kindly.” The least polite states were Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, and Iowa.
Idaho was found to be a very expressive state, as it was ranked #3 among the states that would use hard curses the most and #1 as the most polite state. Maine, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin followed as the politest states in the nation.
New Mexico, Iowa, Oregon, Colorado, and Louisiana had a high ration of saying both “please” and “thank you” in their conversations with customer care professionals while South Carolina, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Alabama ran low in this area.
Publish Date: July 20, 2017
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