Painful Customer Support Experiences Bring 52% of American Consumers to Tears and Profanity

Genesys survey highlights cultural differences as U.S., China and India show highest rate of frustration while seeking help

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half (52%) of U.S. respondents in a recent survey reveal they become so frustrated when soliciting customer support that they swear or even cry. This figure is similar to U.K. survey results (50%) but pales in comparison to the 60% response in India. Other highly emotional country results include China (58%), Singapore (55%), and Malaysia (51%), comparing to only 19% of South Korean respondents.

Genesys research finds that when customer support frustrations run high, more than half of U.S. consumers surveyed swear or even cry.

These insights are the latest in a series of research-based announcements from Genesys®, the global leader in omnichannel customer experience and contact center solutions. Genesys commissioned surveys in 13 countries around the globe to examine consumer opinions on the increasingly automated customer experience: Australia, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the U.K. and the U.S.

Which Americans cry and swear when contacting customer support?

Survey respondents selected just one option — frequently, occasionally, rarely, never — to this simple question: "Do you ever get so frustrated trying to get customer support that you swear or cry?"

In the U.S. survey, 15% of consumers say they "frequently" become so frustrated that they swear or even cry, with an additional 37% saying this "occasionally" happens. But not all Americans resort to tears and profanity during their customer support interactions. The survey data shows several interesting distinctions among U.S. respondents by gender, age, and geographic region — sometimes contrary to expectations.

  • Men lose their temper more than women. Within the U.S., more than half of male survey respondents (56%) say they "frequently" or "occasionally" become so frustrated by customer support that they swear or cry. This compares to 49% of women. The gender difference is even more noticeable when looking at those who answered "frequently" — 20% of men versus only 11% of women.
  • Generation X whines while senior Boomers chill. In the U.S. survey, 19% of people ages 35-44 and 22% of those ages 45-54 admit they "frequently" swear or cry during a customer support experience. Meanwhile, seniors over age 65 are by far the least likely to get angry, with 28% saying they "never" get so frustrated by customer support that they swear or cry.
  • The West is not the best. Among the four U.S. geographic regions, survey respondents living in the West say they have the highest incidence (59%) of swearing or crying during a customer support experience — 19% "frequently" and 40% "occasionally." They also have the lowest "never" rate (16%).

"Throughout the year, and especially during the chaotic holiday shopping season, it's a challenge for many organizations to provide frustration-free customer experiences," said Janelle Dieken, senior vice president of product marketing at Genesys. "When implemented correctly, technology can remove the friction, enable businesses to predict customer needs, and deliver experiences that keep holiday spirits bright."

Who has customer support meltdowns?

While Americans have more emotionally charged customer support exchanges than survey respondents in other Western countries, 33% in India admit they "frequently" cry or swear, the highest rate among the 13 countries surveyed. China, with 20%, is the only other country besides India to show a higher response than the U.S.

South Korean and Japanese consumers have the lowest propensity to swear or cry during a customer support interaction, with only 4% saying they "frequently" do. However, if factoring in those who say they "occasionally" swear or cry, South Korea is the true outlier among the 13 countries in the survey. Just 19% of South Koreans say they frequently or occasionally swear or cry, versus 34% of survey respondents in Japan.

Only 20% of Americans are so relaxed with customer support that they "never" swear or cry. Among the 13 countries in the survey, only China (14%), Singapore (14%), and India (11%) had a lower response rate. This compares to the relatively stoic people in South Korea (50%), Thailand (41%), Indonesia (31%), and Germany (29%).

Survey methodology and demographics

Within the U.S., the survey pool of 800 adults had a 50/50 gender split covering six age ranges in four geographic regions (Northeast, South, Midwest and West). The margin of error is plus/minus 3.5%. The survey was conducted online in July 2019.

Download the slide deck for additional insights from the 2019 Genesys customer experience survey. Press and analysts in North America may request a full copy of the survey findings from the Genesys media relations team at [email protected].

About Genesys
Genesys® powers more than 25 billion of the world's best customer experiences each year. Our success comes from connecting employee and customer conversations on any channel. Every day, 11,000 companies in more than 100 countries trust our #1 customer experience platform to drive great business outcomes and create lasting relationships. Combining the best of technology and human ingenuity, we build solutions that mirror natural communication and work the way you think. Our industry-leading solutions foster true omnichannel engagement because they perform equally well across channels, on-premise and in the cloud. Experience communication as it should be: fluid, instinctive and profoundly empowering. Visit genesys.com on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and the Genesys blog.

©2019 Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. Genesys and the Genesys logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Genesys.


Shaunna Morgan
Senior Public Relations Manager
[email protected]
+1 317-493-4241

Adriana Saldaña
Sterling Communications
[email protected]
+1 408-395-5500


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SOURCE Genesys

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