Angry Customers Using Profanity Are on the Rise


A photo of a gasping contact centre advisor

CallMiner have unveiled the findings of new data analysis on the use of swear words in the contact centre.

In a review of more than 82 million calls, the data indicates that callers are becoming more frustrated with issue resolution and are using offensive language to verbalize their displeasure.

In a new infographic entitled “What the %!#* Is Going On”, CallMiner outline the critical issues related to the use of swearing in the contact centre.

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • The most common swear words used in the contact centre include  f*ck and (bull)sh*t at 23% and 22%, respectively.
  • 87% of calls with offensive language contain swear words throughout the duration of the call.
  • Calls with instances of swearing are on average 8.3 minutes longer than those without.

The research also found that the top 5 reasons callers are angry are:

  1. long wait times
  2. having to repeat themselves from one contact channel to the next
  3. failure to have their issue resolved on the first call
  4. long messages before being routed to the right person
  5. calls that are misrouted after speaking to a call centre agent.
Jeff Gallino

Jeff Gallino

“The use of offensive language in the contact centre isn’t just rude, it’s a strong indicator that some part of your operation is failing,” said Jeff Gallino, founder and chief technology officer at CallMiner.

“Offensive language use in the contact centre should be a KPI for every company as it negatively impacts customer engagement as well as the working environment for your agents. Any way you slice it, when swearing becomes prevalent, you are losing money.”

Direct customer interactions are extremely valuable to a company’s bottom line and the use of swear words in contact centres hurts performance and client relationships and accelerates agent churn. Contact centre agents need to be able to de-escalate volatile situations – assisting consumers more efficiently and proactively.

Speech analytics technology provides the insights companies need to track patterns of offensive language use and identify areas for training and improvement.

To view the CallMiner offensive language infographic click here.

To find out more about CallMiner, visit: callminer.com

Published On: 21st Oct 2019 - Last modified: 23rd Oct 2019
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