Marchex Institute Study Reveals Conversation Trends Across America

SEATTLE--()--Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX), a leading provider of call analytics that drive, measure, and convert callers into customers, today released findings from a new speech pattern study based on more than 6.8 million calls placed by consumers to businesses across the United States.1 Marchex Institute insights reveal how conversation patterns vary and empower businesses to optimize valuable phone interactions with customers.

The data set was analyzed using Marchex Speech Analytics technology, which leverages artificial intelligence, including machine learning and natural language processing algorithms, to analyze calls to businesses in a variety of industries. Key findings include:

  • People from Wyoming top the list for most talkative. Closely following are Montana, North Dakota, Vermont and Maine. In fact, Wyoming residents talk 38 percent more than New Yorkers, who are the least talkative.
  • The fastest talkers and most courteous callers hail from the North. People from northern states including Vermont, Rhode Island, Alaska, New Jersey and New Hampshire speak the fastest, based on words per minute. On average, the fastest talkers are from Vermont, who uttered 148 words per minute, while Hawaiians uttered an average of 134 words per minute, making it the slowest talking state. Closely following as the slowest talkers are New Mexico, Colorado, Georgia and South Carolina. Additionally, more people regularly use “please” and “thank you” on calls from Wyoming, Vermont, Maine, Montana and Michigan.
  • Patience is lower in the Pacific Northwest. In analyzing hold-time abandon rates, Washington state and Oregon demonstrated the least patience, along with Arkansas, Kansas and Mississippi. By contrast, residents from states in the Midwest and Northeast demonstrated the most patience, including Vermont, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota and New Hampshire.
  • Cursing increases as the day progresses. On average, callers cursed 1.1 to 1.3 times per call across the board. However, cursing becomes more common as the day progresses. Profanity is least likely to be used before 4:00 p.m., but then the curse rate on calls doubles after 6:00 p.m., jumping from three percent to six percent. The data also shows that instances of cursing are nuanced. For example, s**t is the most common curse word, but can be used differently depending on the tone of the conversation.

“Our AI-powered speech analytics technology not only automates tasks like call transcription, but allows businesses to do a more complex sentiment analysis of inbound phone calls. This offers more contextual clues around customer reactions, tone and phrasing, which are crucial in human-to-human conversation,” said Erin Murphy, analytics manager at the Marchex Institute. “For businesses, these insights can help solve critical customer service issues by providing visibility to call center operations in real-time, which in turn helps improve the customer experience.”

Building off these insights, Marchex has practical tips for organizations and their customer service agents to help improve the overall outcome of calls:

  • Convey authenticity and positivity. Using phrases such as “I can solve that for you” or “I’d be happy to help” tends to reassure customers that you have their best interest at heart. In fact, a recent Marchex Institute study2 found top performing customer service agents in the telecommunications industry said “happy” four times as often as other agents.
  • Avoid negative phrases. Marchex data from the same study shows agents with lower sales rates said “no” twice as often as the top performing agents. Avoiding common negative phrases such as “No, I don’t think I can” or “No, that’s not right” can help.
  • Use apologies sparingly. Agents with lower sales performance apologized 50 percent more than other agents and said “sorry” nearly four times as often. Participating as an active listener and communicating statements such as “I hear you” and “I understand” can be more effective in reaching a path to resolution.

Visit the Marchex blog to learn more about the Marchex Institute speech pattern study.

Introduced in April 2017, Marchex Speech Analytics has so far analyzed approximately 100 million calls, more than 400 million minutes, and approaching four billion utterances.

About Marchex

Marchex understands that the best customers are those who call your company - they convert faster, buy more, and churn less. Marchex provides solutions that help companies drive more calls, understand what happens on those calls, and convert more of those callers into customers. Our actionable intelligence strengthens the connection between companies and their customers, bridging the physical and digital world, to help brands maximize their marketing investments and operating efficiencies to acquire the best customers.

Please visit the Marchex blog or @marchex on Twitter (, where Marchex discloses material information from time to time about the company, its financial information, and its business.




Based on an analysis of more than 6.8 million automated transcriptions of calls placed between 8/1/2017 and 10/31/2017


Based on an analysis of over 47,000 sales calls placed between 12/24/17 and 2/1/2018


State-by-state rankings:

Most talkative: Least talkative:

1. Wyoming

1. New York

2. Montana

2. New Jersey

3. North Dakota

3. Nevada

4. Vermont

4. Maryland

5. Maine

5. Illinois

Fastest talkers: Slowest talkers:

1. Vermont

1. Hawaii

2. Rhode Island

2. New Mexico

3. Alaska

3. Colorado

4. New Jersey

4. Georgia

5. New Hampshire

5. South Carolina

Most patient: Least patient:

1. Vermont

1. Washington

2. Delaware

2. Oregon

3. Michigan

3. Arkansas

4. Minnesota

4. Kansas

5. New Hampshire

5. Mississippi

Most courteous: Least courteous:

1. Wyoming

1. Mississippi

2. Vermont

2. Alabama

3. Maine

3. Georgia

4. Montana

4. Louisiana

5. Michigan

5. Texas

Highest curse rate: Lowest curse rate:

1. Wyoming

1. Arkansas

2. New Hampshire

2. Mississippi

3. Rhode Island

3. Tennessee

4. Vermont

4. Utah

5. Massachusetts

5. Minnesota


Marchex, Inc.
Investor Relations
Trevor Caldwell, 206-331-3600
Media Inquiries:
Jessie DiMariano, 206-268-2289



Marchex, Inc.
Investor Relations
Trevor Caldwell, 206-331-3600
Media Inquiries:
Jessie DiMariano, 206-268-2289