Terms and Abbreviations Related to Cloud-Based
Call Centers that You should Know
Abandoned After Threshold - Abandoned after threshold refers to the number of calls disconnected or abandoned by callers after waiting in the queue for a predetermined time threshold. However, the threshold time differs across call centers. The managers use this key performance indicator (KPI) to measure the service level in an inbound call center.
Abandoned Before Threshold - The key performance indicator (KPI) helps call center managers to measure the number of inbound calls disconnected by callers before reaching the preset time threshold. However, number of calls abandoned before threshold, unlike number of calls abandoned after threshold, does not impact the service level of inbound call centers.
Abandoned Call - Often customers and prospects contact businesses by phone. But many callers disconnect the call before interacting with the call center agents. Abandoned call refers to the inbound call which is disconnected by callers after being routed through the call center’s communication switch but before the conversation begins.
Abandonment Rate - When a caller contact a business by phone, the call is either handled by interactive voice response (IVR) solutions or routed to an agent. Abandonment rate refers to the percentage of incoming calls disconnected by the caller before interacting with an agent or selecting the options provided by the IVR system.
ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) - The new age telephony system routes and distributes incoming calls efficiently among the call center agents. The automatic call distribution (ACD) systems route incoming calls to specific departments or agents based on predefined criteria like customer, phone number, language and location. Many call centers integrate automatic call distributors with interactive voice response (IVR) and computer telephony integration (CTI).
Activity Codes - As a label, an activity code or call deposition code helps managers to understand important aspects of a call. The activity code helps decision makers to collect important information about specific calls like type of the call, reason of the call, action required, and outcome of the call. Managers use activity codes as a tool to measure agent performance and gain customer insights.
ACW (After-Call Work) - Often agents have to supplement the calls with specific actions like sending emails, initiating voice/video chats, sending text messages, and posting on social media. After-call work (ACW) encompasses a variety of post-call work or actions including data entry, form completion, and activity code updating.
Adherence - The performance of a call center depends on agents adhering to a number of things- schedule, scripts, policy, procedure, and best practices. The managers assess performance of agents based on adherence to these things. They even emphasize on adherence to optimize call center performance.
Agent - Agents refer to any person who handles incoming calls and initiate outbound calls. The call center agents can be broadly divided into three categories – inbound, outbound, and blended. The inbound agents manage incoming calls, whereas the outbound agents manage outgoing calls. But the blended agents manage both incoming and outgoing calls. They are also known as Brand Specialist or Customer Service Representatives.
Agent Availability - The call center agents need to manage calls throughout the day. While routing the calls, the manager or automatic call distributor checks if the agent is available to manage the next call. Normally, agent availability is calculated and expressed as a percentage.
Agent Occupancy - Each agent needs time to manage calls and perform post-call action. The conventional telephony systems even require agents to wait for call. Agent occupancy includes the time required by an agent to handle a call and perform after-call work as well as the idle time. Normally, agent occupancy is expressed as a percentage of the reporting period.
Agent Status - The call center agents need to perform multiple tasks during and after call. Hence, the functional status of an agent keeps changing frequently. The automatic call distributors need to ascertain the exact agent status to route the calls precisely and efficiently.
Agent Utilization - Often businesses explore way to boost call center performance by maximizing agent utilization. The managers calculate agent utilization as a percentage. The agent utilization rate is measured by dividing the in-call and post-call work time of an agent by the total working hours.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) - Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies facilitate development of next generation machines that act and react just like humans. AI has the capability to transform the call center industry completely through automation of routine activities and optimization of customer experience. The new age call center solutions leverage AI to improve agent productivity and modernize call center operations.
Analytics (Contact Center Analytics) - Analytics is the collection or identification of data across different domains to identify the customer needs, increase customer engagement, increase levels of customer satisfaction and to optimize the performance of the call center overall. Different objectives can be achieved with the help of analytics, and hence it is a key aspect of any business.
ANI (Automatic Number Identification) - ANI is a network that gives the receiver information about the telephone number calling them or in other words, about the incoming call. Automatic number identification works as a caller ID and helps the receiver to attain information about the caller and store it for any future communication. Also, the Automatic call distributor retrieves this information and connects the call accordingly.
Announcement - An announcement is any pre-recorded message that is played to the callers. This may include promotional messages, offers, important details or any other information that requires an announcement.
Answer Rate - Answer rate is the number of calls answered by the agents as opposed to the number of calls received by an agent. Managers use the answer rate as a key metric to determine and performance rate of a call center.
AOV (Average Order Value) - A key performance metric in call centers that are focused on sales. AOV tells us about the cost of a distinctive order. It is calculated by diving the total sales revenue with the number of sales made.
Apps - Software applications based on an Android or an iOS platform which helps the users in performing specific tasks. For example, an entertainment website can have its entertainment application which allows the users to enjoy the same functionalities on their mobile phones.
API (Application Programming Interface) - An application programming interface is a set of defined guidelines and methodologies for building a software. An API can also have certain tools that are responsible for helping in the process. For example, Node.js or Microsoft Azure are APIs.
Application based Routing - Automatic call distributors have the property of dividing and separating calls based on their nature and application (like sales, support, etc.) as opposed to the traditional method that divides calls based on the agent handling them or the trunk/group they are placed in.
Architecture - The basic layout or the structure of the system as a whole. This layout contains all the components along with their placement and the details of their integration with one another and with the system.
Area Code - The area code is a three-digit code that is generally used as a precursor to the actual phone number and differs from area to area in any geographical location.
ASA (Average Speed of Answer) - ASA is the average time a call stays in the queue before being answered by an agent. Managers use this as a metric to understand staffing requirements or to better understand the functionality of an automatic call distributor.
ATT (Average Talk Time) - ATT is the average time an agent spends on talking to the customer. This only includes the time spent on call, speaking and listening to the customer and is just one component of the Average Handling Time (AHT). It is mostly expressed in minutes and seconds.
Auto Available - A system feature that makes sure that an agent is automatically available after finishing up and disconnecting his ongoing call. This configuration ensures that agents do not waste their time on irrelevant tasks and the maximum time is spent on call. This also ensures that customers have to wait less before being connected to an agent.
Auto Wrap-up - Unlike auto available, auto wrap-up instantly puts the agent on after-call work after disconnecting a call. The agents them have to make themselves available manually by clicking an option after completing their after-call work.
Automated Attendant - An auto attendant is primarily a processing system that helps in connecting the caller to the right agent. It displays several options for the customer to choose from and then connects the customer to their desired option. This helps in better filtering the customers which in turn helps in better customer satisfaction.
Automated Greeting - An automated greeting is a pre-recorded message that plays whenever a call is connected to the contact center. This is custom made by brands and might include some promotional content or occasion-specific message as well.
Automatic Callback - Businesses nowadays have an option for customers with which they can request a call back from the contact center. This can be used on the website as an option or with IVR when a call center agent is not available. Automatic callback helps in reducing abandonment rates and increasing customer satisfaction. This also helps in managing traffic as it avoids unnecessary repeat calls.
Automatic Dialer (Auto Dialer) - An auto dialer is a phone system that automatically calls numbers from a given database. An auto dialer can be used to either leave a pre-recorded message on their number when the call is answered or connect the customer to a live agent. Auto dialers save the human effort of calling numbers and hearing to dial tones or answering machines.
Auxiliary Work State - An auxiliary work state is a state or the time when the agent does not receive calls. This is typically the time the agent spends on other tasks such as sending an email, filing paperwork and other customer-related tasks.
Available State - Agents are assigned specific states according to their current standing. An available state implies that the agent is logged in to the automatic call distributor and is ready to take calls.
Available Time - The available time is associated with the available state and is a measure of the time an agent waits to start receiving calls. Available time or the availability of an agent is considered as an important metric in an outbound call center.
Average After-Call Work Time (AWT) - AWT refers to the average time an agent is spending on miscellaneous after call activities. This is the time when the agent is busy and not ready to take a call. This metric helps managers understand the average time gaps that the agents need between two distinct calls.
Average Call Value - The average call value is a key metric used by contact centers. It is calculated by dividing the total revenue with the number of calls handled in a particular time frame.
Average Contacts per Hour - The average contacts per hour indicate the average contacts that an agent handles in a set time frame. This is calculated by dividing the number of contacts that the agent handled with the total number of hours the agent worked.
Average Delay of Delayed Calls (DEADLY) - The average delay of delayed calls is the average time that a caller waits to speak to an agent. The average delay should always be a minimum as it can negatively impact customer experience and leave a bad reputation for the brand.
Average Delay to Abandon - Sometimes a caller calls a contact center but abandons the call before even taking any action or speaking to the agent. This is known as the abandonment of the call and the average delay to abandon is the average time that a caller waits before abandoning the call. The call can also be abandoned by the caller in an outbound scenario as well, where the callers pick up the call but abandon it before listening to the agent.
Average Delay to Answer - This is the average time a caller waits before being answered by an agent. This is also known as the average speed of answer and is an important metric while calculating the performance of the call center.
Average Handle Time (AHT) - The Average Handle Time is the total time an agent spends on a customer. This includes the interaction or the talk time along with the after-call work or the hold time. In other words, it is the total time an agent is spending on one customer, solving one problem. The AHT is an important metric while understanding the performance of your call center.back to top
Base Staff - While planning call center operations, the manager needs to determine the minimum number of agents required to handle customer workload over a particular period.
Basic Rate Interface (BRI) - The Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) allows user to choose from two distinct service levels – Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and Primary Rate Interface (PRI). Both BRI and PRI include a set of B-channels and D-channels. The B-channels carry data, voice and similar services, while the D-channels carry signalling information. Unlike PRI, BRI is used by small enterprises and start-ups.
Benchmarking - Benchmarking refers to the process of measuring or evaluating a contact center’s performance based on widely accepted standards for processes, staffing, and assistance. The decision makers set benchmarks to monitor call center performance consistently and identify improvement opportunities.
Best Practices - A best practice can be defined as a procedure, methodology, or technique that helps call centers to achieve desired results in a more efficient and reliable way. The contact centers implement a variety of best practices to accelerate customer service delivery, improve customer experience, streamline call center operations, and identify process improvement opportunities.
Big Data - The term big data refers to extremely large datasets that help call centers to detect trends, behaviors, relationship, and patterns. The contact centers analyze the large volumes of data collected from diverse sources computationally to take informed decisions at the right time.
Blended Call Center - A blended call center helps businesses to unify and integrate outbound and inbound call center operations. The contact center deploys blended agents who can handle incoming calls and initiate outbound calls. The cloud-based contact center solutions help businesses to set up blended call centers that deliver customer service through multiple channels – telephones, emails, chats, social media, and text messages.
Blockage - Blockage makes a customer/caller receive busy signals when he/she calls a business. A call center blockage may occur due to a number of reasons – surge in incoming call volume, technology failure, or shortage of agents. The managers measure the number of calls that the call center failed to handle due to a specific reason based on a blockage metric.
Blocked Call - The term blocked call refers to the number of inbound calls that call center could not handle due to a specific reason like unavailability of agents, call queues being full, or fault in the contact center software. The inbound call centers need to explore ways to reduce blocked calls to improve customer service experience and generate revenue.
Brand Loyalty - Brand loyalty is often described as the tendency or dedication of customers towards a product or brand. The consumer purchases a product or opts for a brand repeatedly due to brand loyalty. Brand loyalty also makes customers prefer a product or brand over competing products or brands.
Brand Passion - In simple words, brand passion can be explained as a customer’s passion or devotion for a specific product or brand. The passion of the customer for a product/brand is influenced by a number of factors including characteristics of the customer as well as the brand.
Brand Reputation - Brand reputation refers to the way a brand - product, service, or company - is viewed or perceived by consumers. The reputation of a brand can be favourable or unfavourable. When the brand reputation is favourable, the customers will trust the company and purchase its products/services repeatedly.
Brand Specialist - Many organizations refer call center agents or customer service representatives as brand specialists. The brand specialists interact with customers/caller by managing both inbound and outbound calls. They further help businesses to carry out voice-based marketing campaigns efficiently.
Brick and Mortar - Brick and mortar (B&R) refers to the conventional and physical presence of a business. Unlike online or virtual businesses, a B&R carry out sales operations through conventional retail stores. However, many B&R stores these days boost sales through digital commerce operations.
Business Analytics - Business analytics help businesses to take informed and data-driven decisions based on data collected from diverse sources. The businesses use analytical solutions to gain insights by analyzing historical data and use the insights to drive business planning. The solutions analyze and process large amount of data using statistical and operational approaches.
Business Continuity Plan - Businesses implement business continuity plan to ensure that business processes and operations are not disrupted through disasters or emergencies. The business continuity plan identifies the threats or risks that will disrupt business processes and define the measures required to ensure business continuity by addressing the threats or minimizing the risks on time.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) - As a subset of outsourcing, business process outsourcing (BPO) refers to the business practice of a company hiring a third-party service provider to carry out specific business processes or perform specific tasks. Many enterprises these days opt for BPO overcome constraint related to skill and technology, while reducing operational cost.
Business to Business (B2B) - Business to business (B2B) refers to the businesses that carry out commercial transactions with other businesses. B2B can also be described as the exchange of products, services, or information between two businesses.
Business to Consumer (B2C) - Business to consumer (B2C) refers to the businesses that sell products or services to individual consumers. B2C can also be described at the commercial transaction between a business and individuals who will use the products or services offered by the business.
Busy study - A busy study is a study provided by a telephone carrier that displays the number of calls that were trying to connect to the incoming trunk but were unable to do so because of insufficient trunk capacity and in turn heard a busy signal. It displays the total percentage of attempts that were made on the incoming trunk along with the percentage of attempts that failed and heard a busy signal instead.back to top
Calibration - The contact centers use call calibration as a key strategy to improve call center performance and deliver outstanding customer service. Calibration requires managers to validate various call center processes based on a prescribed performance standard.
Call Blending - Call blending refers to the process of unifying inbound and outbound and call centers. Many call centers these days deploy new age call center solutions and engage blended agents to get the inbound and outbound calls managed by the same agents.
Call-By-Call Routing - The automatic call distributors (ACDs) use call-by-call routing technique as a tool to transfer incoming calls to the right agent or queue based on a set of pre-established criteria - location of the customer, time of the call, and language selected by the caller. While configuring an ACD, the managers can define the criteria for routing every incoming call to the most appropriate destination.
Call Center - A call center is often described as a centralized facility or office set up by businesses to facilitate customer service delivery and outbound call campaigns. The call centers can be broadly divided into three categories - inbound call centers, outbound call centers and blended call centers.
Call Center Attrition - Call center attrition refers to the rate at which call center agents leave the organization over a period. The agents leave call centers due to a number of reasons. But the businesses needs to reduce call center attrition consistently to deliver customer service delivery and manage marketing campaigns efficiently.
Call Center Dialer - Call Center Dialers are software that can automate outbound calls. They come in different types, all of which are configurable and can be integrated with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Call center dialers are very helpful to increase your agent productivity, and they help in simplifying your outbound calling process.
Call Center Forecasting - Call center forecasting helps businesses to deploy the right number of staff by predicting workload or call volume. The decision makers perform call center forecasting by monitoring the changes in call volume and using their experience. They further keep in mind a variety of factors to predict call volume accurately.
Call Center Service Level - Both internal and outsourced call centers need to meet a predetermined level of service. Many call center use call center service level as a key metric to measure the percentage of incoming calls handled by agents within the predetermined time threshold. The call center service level is represented as a pair of two numbers - a percentage value and a time value in seconds.
Call Center Solutions - Call Center Solutions are products or services that help in solving a problem related to the CRM (Customer Relationship Management). A call center solution is mostly a unified or balanced solution which helps in the overall functionality of the call center. Some examples of call center solutions can be hosted dialers, ACD (Automatic Call Distributors), etc.
Call Center Metrics - Call Center Metrics are the measures used to identify the growth and performance of any call center. These metrics often calculate and track different operations of a call center. Some constructive metrics include AHT, CSAT, Abandonment Rate, and more.
Call Closing - Call closing refers to the termination of a call between the customer and the call center agents. The agents often end the call saying thank you to the customer and asking if the customer needs any other assistance. However, the call closing statements differ according to the nature and requirements of individual marketing campaigns.
Call Control - While interacting with a customer, call center agents always try to control the conversation flow. They control the flow of the conversation by asking relevant questions to the customer throughout the interaction process.
Call Control Variables - The automated call distributors (ACDs) route and process inbound calls based on a variety of parameters or call control variables. The managers can personalize customer service experience by processing calls based on important variables like routing criteria, pre-recorded messages, call time thresholds, and overflow parameters.
Call Detail Recording - The new age call center solutions record various aspects of both inbound and outbound calls. The agents and supervisors can refer to the call detail recording to collect important information about the call - which agent handles the call, call duration, time in the queue, trunk used, and number of dials.
Call Drivers - The customers call a business for a variety of purposes - collect additional information and solve specific queries. Call drivers refers to the reason for which a customer calls a business or call center. The call drivers are also applicable to other customer support delivery channels - emails, chat and social media.
Call Forcing - Some automatic call distributors (ACDs) these days support call forcing. The call forcing feature makes the call center solution transfer incoming call directly and automatically to an agent who is available to handle the next call. The agent has to answer the call immediately after hearing the notification delivered by the ACD.
Call Greeting - Call greeting refers to the opening statement made by a live agent or an auto attendant while starting conversation with a customer. The call greeting statement typically includes a welcome message, organization's name, and agent's name. But many businesses these days customize call greeting and use call greeting scripts to make a good first impression on the customer.
Call Guide - As a template or tool, call guides help call center agents to access product information or remember the questions to ask while handling a call. The agents often refer to the digitized call guide to control flow of the call and reduce call handling time.
Call Length - Call length refers to the amount of time an agent requires to process a single customer interaction. Many managers measure call length using another call center metric - average handle time (AHT). But call duration, like AHT, may vary according to the nature and complexity of the customer interaction.
Call Metering - Often call centers use call metering as a tool to restrict the number of incoming calls to get through the switch at a time. Call metering helps call centers to manage surge in incoming call volumes. When call metering is enabled, the caller hears a busy signal when he/she calls the contact center.
Call Opening - Call opening refers to the salutation or statement used by a call center agent while starting conversation with a customer. The agents normally start a conversation with a welcome message, brief information about the organization, and name of the agent. However, many call centers these days customize call opening statements according to the nature and objective of calls.
Call Recording - The interactive voice response (IVR) and auto dialers these days support call recording. They record the calls and store the recorded phone conversations automatically. The supervisors and managers access the recorded call for a variety of purposes - assess call quality, document transactions, facilitate agent training and measure customer experience.
Call Review Assessment - The call center managers and supervisors conduct call review assessment to evaluate call handling capability and performance of individual agents. Sometimes call review assessment is carried out by members of quality assurance (QA) team.
Call Strategy - While managing an inbound or outbound call, the agents need to focus on achieving a specific goal. The call strategy defines the goals an agent should try to achieve while handing an inbound or outbound call.
Call Time - Call time refers to the amount of time required by an agent to complete a call. The term is often described as call duration. The call time can vary depending upon a number of factors such as the complexity of the customer query.
Call Transfer - As a widely used telecommunication technique, call transfer routes an incoming call to a specific number, agent, department, or device. The call transfer techniques can be divided into two broad categories - cold transfer and warm transfer. A cold transfer redirects the call without making any announcement, whereas a warm transfer redirects the call after making an announcement.
Caller-Entered Digits - The call centers these days use interactive voice response (IVR) solutions to deliver customer service through self-service options. The IVR solutions allow customers to choose from a set of self-service option by inputting a specific digit by pressing the appropriate key on their phone keypad. Caller-entered digit refers to the digit submitted by customers using their phone keypads.
Caller ID - The call center solutions allow agents to see the caller's phone number through the caller ID feature. The caller ID helps the agents to personalize conversations by detecting a customer's phone number, location, and name. The call center solutions display caller IDs either on the agent's desktop or on a separate screen.
Calls Handled - This call center metric helps managers to determine the number of incoming calls handled by agents from the virtual queue. The figure includes only the calls answered by agents and does not include the abandoned calls.
Calls in Queue - The automatic call distributors (ACDs) hold incoming calls in a queue before routing them to the appropriate agent. Calls in queue refer to the number of incoming calls received by the ACD but not yet transferred to live agents.
Calls Offered - The term calls offered refers to the number of inbound calls received by a contact center. While calculating inbound calls offers, managers consider answered calls, abandoned calls, calls transferred to the virtual queue, hang up calls and busy signals. The metric helps managers to determine the number of agents required to manage the calls offered.
Calls per Agent - The metric helps managers to decide the number of incoming calls handled by an agent per hour/day/week/month. The managers calculate calls per agent by dividing the number of calls handled by an inbound agent by the total number of agents handling the calls over a specific period.
Carrier - The term carrier refers to a company that operates a specific telephone network. Hence, cell phone carrier refers to a company that provides cellular service to mobile device users. The telephone carriers can be broadly divided into two categories - domestic communication service provider and international communication service provider.
Case Management - As a collaborative process, case management emphasizes on optimizing call center performance by assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating various options and services. Case management covers all aspects of customer relationship management (CRM) and focuses on improving customer satisfaction.
Central office (CO) - A central office can refer to either a switching center of a telephone company or a part of telephone switch used in any telephone company. The local central office receives calls from inside a local area and has the option of either routing them locally or sending them to an Inter-exchange carrier(IXC). It also receives call requests on the receiving end through IXC.
Chat - Chat refers to a new age customer service delivery channel that facilitates interaction enabling customers to communicate and interact with a business or brand by exchanging messages over the internet. The businesses interact with customers using different types of chat - instant messaging, ICQ and IRC.
Chatbot - A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven software application with the capability to simulate a conversation/chat with customers in natural language. Businesses these days use custom chatbots to automate customer service delivery. The chatbots interact with customers through text chats and voice interactions.
Click to Call/Click to Chat - As a form of digital communication, click to call/click to chat enables website visitors to request a callback by clicking on a hyperlink, image, or button. Many businesses these days include click to call options in their websites to reduce volume of incoming calls. They even allow website visitors to request both instant and time-bound callbacks.
Clienteling - The call center agents use clienteling as a marketing technique to build customer relationship and recommend relevant products to customers based on historical data about their purchases, preferences, and behaviors.
Coaching - Coaching refers to the process of improving agent efficiency and making training programs effective through both encouragement and reinforcements. The managers conduct coaching in a number of ways - monitoring calls and using quality assurance evaluation sheets. They can even conduct coaching on a regular basis to identify the opportunities for improving call center performance.
Cold Transfer - Cold transfer or blind transfer refers to transferring of incoming calls from one agent to another without making any announcement. The agent transfers the incoming call to his/her colleague directly without talking to the customer.
Co-Browsing - As a joint navigation technique, collaborative browsing enables multiple individuals to access and see the same web resources simultaneously. The call center agents leverage collaborative browsing to help customers navigate the website and collect relevant information.
Collateral Duties - Collateral duties refer to the activities or tasks carried out by a call center agent that lie outside his/her primary professional responsibility.
Command Center - The term command center depicts any place that is used for providing centralized command for various purposes. In contact centers, command center refers to a group who manage a set of workforce management functions like agent forecasting, skill enhancement, scheduling, and reporting.
Command Center Analysts - A command center analyst is a member of the group that is responsible for performing workforce management functions and making workforce adjustments in real-time environments.
Compliance - Compliance can be defined as carrying out call center operations according to a set of rules, guidelines, or specifications. The contact centers need to adhere to a variety of government regulation and requirements to keep sensitive customer data secure and prevent unauthorized customer data usage.
Completed call - A call that has passed through all the phases of a customer call and is now completed on the agent's end.
Computer Simulation - Computer simulation is the process of using computer software to imitate a real-world process or system. The contact centers leverage computer simulation to compare and evaluate solution outcome based on Multiple variations and probabilities of events.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) - Computer telephony integration or computer-telephone integration enables businesses to manage telephone calls using computers. The contact centers take advantage of CTI to enhance agent efficiency and manage surge in call volume. The technology helps agents to manage incoming calls and initiate outbound calls more efficiently.
Conditional Routing - The automatic call distributors (ACDs) supporting conditional redirect or transfer inbound calls based on specific conditions - time of the call, location of the caller, availability of agents and nature or type of assistance required by the caller. While configuring the ACDs, the managers can set the conditions for routing individual calls.
Contact - The term contact refers to the communication between a customer or caller and a call center agent. The call center agents and customer these days contact each other through multiple communication channels - telephone calls, emails, text messages, text chat, voice chat and social media.
Contact Center - Often people use the words call center and contact centers interchangeably. A contact center refers to the centralized location from which a business all customer contacts. The contact centers help businesses to communicate with customers through commonly used communication channels like telephone calls, emails, text messages, faxes, text chat, voice chat and social media. Hence, a contact center provides more services than a call center and facilitates omni-channel customer service delivery.
Contact Center Management - The contact centers help businesses to deliver customer service and manage marketing campaigns through multiple channels of communication. But no business can improve customer experience and increase sale conversion without monitoring and streamlining contact center operations. The businesses these days emphasize on contact center management to ensure that the contact center performs optimally and meets predetermined quality standards consistently.
Contact Management - The contact centers these days use sophisticated software to process and manage calls. They use contact management as a powerful tool to organize contact center information by tracking various lines of communication.
Contingency Planning - Often, businesses develop a contingency plan that can help a business if and when an unfavourable situation arises. It is a detailed plan that defines all the actions that have to be taken and who will process those actions at that time.
Contract Staffing - As its name suggests, contract staffing refers to recruiting call center staff on contract. Many staffing agencies help call centers to recruit agents according to their changing needs. Contract staffing helps businesses to handle surge in call volume without deploying additional staff agent. Many businesses leverage contract staffing to recruit skilled agents for a specific job or campaign.
Conversion Rate - The contact centers use conversion rate as the key metric to measure an agent's proficiency in closing sales deals. Normally, managers calculate conversion rate by dividing the number of sales by the number of calls. However, they need to explore ways to increase conversion rate consistently.
Conversational Commerce - Conversational commerce can be described as ecommerce transactions carried out through voice and text channels. The contact centers these days facilitate conversational commerce by interacting with customers and leads through various channels - telephones, emails, chat, mobile apps and social media. Many businesses deploy chatbots to facilitate conversational commerce without deploying additional live agents.
Cost Per Call - The businesses use cost per call to ascertain the cost of running a contact center over a specific period of time. The decision makers calculate cost per call by dividing the total cost of operating a call center with the total number of calls handled.
Courtesy Callback - The contact centers these days allow callers to request call backs when their calls remain on hold. The customers can leverage courtesy callback option to receive a subsequent callback by leaving a message using their phone keypads.
Cross Sell - Cross sell refers to a commonly used sales technique that emphasizes on making a customer purchase additional products or services. While cross-selling products, call center agents persuade the customer to spend more by purchasing a product which is related to a product already purchased by him/her.
Cross Sell Matrix - A cross sell matrix is a useful tool mostly in ecommerce support or a sales contact center. It helps the agents with determining related products according to the customer needs and tailoring product suggestions to specific behaviour portrayed by them. It functions as a tool to increase the average cart size or the average order value.
Customer Care - Customer care refers to the practice of meeting customers' needs and promoting customer loyalty. The call center agents adopt a variety of customer care best practices to improve and personalize the entire journey of the customer with the business or brand.
Customer-centric - While making business strategies, decision makers need to focus on meeting customers' needs and optimizing customer satisfaction. They need to keep both customer service and marketing campaigns customer-centric to generate more revenue and promote customer loyalty.
Customer Effort Score (CES) - The contact centers use customer effort score (CES) as a key metric to measure customer service satisfaction. The metric helps managers to determine the amount of effort a customer puts to collect specific information, resolve specific issues, or fulfil a specific request. CES helps businesses to improve customer experience and customer loyalty.
Customer Experience (CX) - In simple words, customer experience can be described as the experience of a customer with a particular business or brand. Also, customer experience can be described as the outcome of a customer's interaction with call center agents. No business these days can generate revenue and remain competitive without improving customer experience consistently.
Customer Journey - Customer journey is often described as the sum of all interaction a customer has with a business or brand. The businesses cannot assess customer journey based on a single interaction the customer has with a brand for a single transaction.
Customer Journey Mapping - Customer journey mapping refers to the process of representing all interactions a customer has with a business/brand graphically. Most businesses these days create customer journey maps to assess customer experience and improve customer experience by understanding customers' motivation, needs, expectations, and pain points.
Customer Loyalty - Customer loyalty refers to a customer's dedication or devotion for a specific product or seller. The businesses focus on promoting customer loyalty to generate revenue and increase profits in the long run. The call centers implement customer loyalty as an important level of value to retain customers and transform them into brand advocates over a longer period of time.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the strategy businesses implement to manage their relationship and interactions with both existing and potential customers. While making CRM strategy, decision makers need to combine people, process, and technology to acquire new customers and retain existing customer. They can leverage CRM systems to automate key aspects of customer relationship management.
Customer Satisfaction - The businesses use customer satisfaction as a key metric to measure the effectiveness of their products/services to meet or surpass customer expectation. They even conduct customer satisfaction surveys to supply products or services that meet customer needs and surpass customer expectation.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) - Many businesses use CSAT as a key performance indicator to measure how customers feel about a product or service offered by them. CSAT further helps decision makers to know if a product or service is satisfying customer needs and meeting customer expectations.
Customer Service - Customer service refers to the assistance, advice, or support a business provides to the people who are using its products or services. The customer service delivered by businesses help customers to avail relevant information while comparing products and resolving various problems after purchasing the product.
Customer Service Contact Center - Many businesses these days set up contact centers to deliver customer service and run marketing campaigns through various communication channels - telephone, emails, text messages, chat and social media. The customer service contact centers help businesses to streamline customer relationship management and manage customer interactions efficiently.
Customer Service Representative (CSR) - The businesses deploy customer service representatives to handle customer calls. The CSRs manage a variety of incoming calls - product inquiries, customer support and grievance addressing. Many businesses refer to CSRs as agents or brand specialists.back to top
Dashboard - A call center dashboard helps managers to monitor and improve quality of customer service based on various metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). The managers use dashboard to increase customer satisfaction, meet service level agreement (SLA), and reduce call handling time by accessing real-time information instantly.
Data Aberrations - Data aberrations occur when the normal data aspects from a process deviate from preset standards. While planning call center processes, the managers must not make data aberration a part of the forecasting process.
Data Directed Call Routing - Data directed call routing or intelligent routing makes an automatic call distributor (ACD) or interactive voice response (IVR) solution to redirect incoming calls to a particular agent, department, or telephone number based on real-time customer data. The new age call center solutions enable intelligent call routing by receiving customer input, validating the customer input, and redirecting the call to the most appropriate target.
Data Mining - Data mining refers to the process of extracting new information, detecting trends, or identifying patterns by analyzing large amount of existing data. The call centers these days analyze real-time customer data collected from various sources to take informed decisions by predicting future trends.
Data Warehouse - Data warehouse refers to a centralized storage environment to store large amount of data collected from varying sources. The contact centers leverage data warehouse to take informed decisions by analyzing large datasets collected from various sources.
Database - Database is often described as collection of data in an organized way. Many contact centers these days use databases to store, access, update, and manipulate data collected from various sources in digital format.
Database Call Handling - The automatic call distributors (ACDs) and interactive voice response (IVR) solutions process incoming calls based on information stored in databases. They handle calls more efficiently by validating the user input based on the information stored in a database. After validating the user input, the call center solutions route the call to the appropriate agent/department, play the right pre-recorded message, or prioritize the customer call.
Day-Of-Week Routing - The call centers use day-of-the week routing technique to transfer the incoming calls to a specific extension or live agent based on the date. The technique helps businesses to deliver customer service during weekends and holidays when staff agents are not available to handle incoming calls.
Decibel (dB) - It is a measure of sound. It calculated the intensity or the degree of loudness of a sound. Contact centers set specific sound measures to ensure clarity in conversation.
Delay Announcements - The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions play pre-recorded delay announcements when that customer call remains on hold till the incoming call is handled by an agent. Many businesses use delay announcements as a marketing tool to promote their products or services.
Delay Time - The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions transfer incoming calls to a queue before being answered by call center agents. Delay time refers to the time when the incoming call remains on hold. The IVR systems keep callers engaged during delay time by playing delay announcements.
Desktop Applications - The desktop applications refer to the software applications that are installed on a single computer. The person using the desktop or laptop computer can use the desktop application to perform specific tasks. The businesses these days create custom desktop applications to help employees carry out specific business activities efficiently and quickly.
Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS) - The outbound call centers leverage the dialed number identification service (DNIS) provided by telecommunication companies to identify dialed telephone numbers. DNIS helps call centers to route calls to the right department/agent or deliver personalized customer service.
Direct Inward Dialing (DID) - It refers to dialing a number within the company without going through an operator or mediator.
Direct to Consumer (D2C) - Direct to consumer (D2C) refers to a retail channel that makes a business sell products or services to consumers directly without involving any intermediaries. Many businesses these days switch from retailer partnership to D2C to enhance brand awareness and reduce distribution overheads.
Disaster Recovery Plan - Disaster recovery plan refers to a business plan that helps enterprises to continue their business operations by minimizing impacts of a disaster. While preparing a disaster recovery plan, decision makers evaluate business processes elaborately and identify the measures must be implemented to ensure business continuity.
Documentation - While interacting with a customer, the call center agents need to take notes or record important aspects of the customer interaction. Documentation refers to the information recorded by an agent during customer interaction. The documentation helps other agents to deliver relevant customer support or personalize customer experience by understanding earlier conversations or interactions.
Do Not Call List - A Do not call (DNC) list refers to a registry containing phone number of customers who have opted not to receive sales calls or promotional text messages. The auto dialer software refers to the DNC list to avoid initiating outbound calls to customers who are not interested to receive sales calls or promotional text messages.
Drivers - The contact center mangers analyze call drivers to determine what makes customers call the business/brand and identify the types of call that lead to increase in incoming call volume. Call driver analysis helps managers to manage call center efficiently by identifying and addressing the issues that cause maximum pain.
Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) - It is also known as Touchtone Dialing. In this, pushing or pressing a button send two separate tones- one high frequency and the other low frequency.
Dynamic Network Routing (DNR) - The networking technique enable call centers to route incoming calls to various phone numbers and extensions based on specific conditions. Many call centers leverage DNR to route incoming calls based on time and day.back to top
E-commerce - E-commerce or electronic commerce refers to the commercial transactions which are carried out electronically over the internet. The e-commerce business models can be divided into a number of categories - business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B), consumer to consumer (C2C), consumer to business (C2B), business to administration (B2A) and consumer to administration (C2A).
Economies of Scale - Economies of scale can be described as the practice of reducing cost per unit by producing goods or services on a much larger scale. Economies of scale help large enterprises to beat competition by reducing per-unit fixed overheads.
Efficiency - Efficiency refers to the actions or practices that make a person perform specific tasks without putting extra time and effort. Efficiency is one of the three important levels of value for contact centers. The contact centers must explore ways to improve agent efficiency to handle surge in call volume and deliver outstanding customer service.
Efficiency Metrics - The businesses use a variety of efficiency metrics to measure performance and productivity of employees. They even measure contact center efficiency at both micro and macro levels using a variety of efficiency metrics.
E-Learning - E-learning or electronic learning enables learners to expand their knowledge using digital devices and internet. Unlike traditional classroom-based learning, e-learning enables students and professionals to acquire knowledge and hone skills at their own pace and convenience.
Email - Email or electronic mail refers to the messages transferred from one digital device to another over the internet. At present, emails are one of the commonly used customer service delivery channels. While implementing omni-channel customer service strategy, contact centers focus extensively on sending better customer service emails.
End of Call Disposition - End of call disposition can be described as the primary objective and the outcome of a call. The managers use end of call deposition as a metric to decide the measures required to improve customer experience and boost sales.
Enterprise Data Window - The call center solutions enable call center agents to access updated customer information using enterprise data windows. The enterprise data windows help agents to personalize customer interactions by accessing the customer data collected through automatic call distributors (ACDs) and interactive voice response (IVR) solutions.
Enterprise relationship management - ERM is described as a business strategy or solution and is used in the form of a software. It incorporates data mining, or a detailed analysis of data to help understand and comprehend internal enterprise relations along with customer use of the products produces and the services provided by the enterprise. ERM hopes to achieve long-term customer satisfaction and an increased profit ratio.
Envelope Scheduling - The contact centers these days leverage envelope scheduling as a technique to handle a surge in call volume by blending incoming and outgoing calls. The managers create a single team comprising of both inbound and outbound agents to simplify schedulability checking.
Equivalent Random Theory - As a widely used traffic engineering model, equivalent random theory (ERT) helps call centers to manage peak traffic conditions efficiently. The contact centers implement ERT when the variance-to-mean ratio (VMR) is greater than one.
Erlang - As a unit of telecommunications traffic measurement, an Erlang represents the usage of a single voice path continuously. The call centers use Erlang to measure total traffic volume per hour or 3600 seconds. The value of Erlang keeps fluctuating according to changes in traffic density in the telecommunication system.
Erlang Models - The contact centers use Erlang as a unit to measure traffic volume or density per hour. They even distribute call volume efficiently by implementing various Erlang models. The Erlang models help call center managers to determine the staffing level required to meet the service level.
Error Rate - The call centers determine error rate or ratio of errors based on the faults or errors committed over a specific number of transactions. Often higher error rates increases operational cost and impact customer experience. Many contact centers these days reduce error rates using automated verification process.
Escalation Plan - Call center escalation refers to the process when the issue or complaint raised by a customer is presented to a supervisor or manager. Unlike an agent, the supervisor or manager has additional resources and permissions. The manager uses the additional resources or permissions to resolve the customer complain in a better way.
Executive Summary - Executive summary or management summary refers to a short section of a document or report that summarizes the entire report, document, or proposal. The decision makers often refer to the executive summary to understand the key objectives of a document or report at once.
Explanatory Approach - As a communication technique, explanatory approach emphasizes on making people understand something through explanations or illustrations. Often contact center agents adopt the exploratory approach to make customers understand a specific thing clearly and unambiguously.back to top
Facebook - Facebook is a hugely popular social networking website. Billions of users spend their digital media time on Facebook, connecting with their social media friends by creating posts, posting comments, sharing images/videos/links, and chatting. No business these days can boost omni-channel customer experience without leveraging Facebook for customer service delivery.
Facebook Comments on Wall Posts - Facebook allows users to post comments on wall posts of their social media friends. Many members communicate with their friends by posting comments on their wall posts. The customer service representatives also communicate with customers and resolve their complaints or grievances by posting comments on their wall posts.
Facebook Complaint - In the age of omni-channel customer service, Facebook has emerged as a hugely popular customer service delivery channel. Many customers these days depict their dissatisfaction or share their bad experiences by creating posts on Facebook. While implementing omni-channel customer service strategy, decision makers must focus on responding to and resolving Facebook complaints proactively.
Facebook Private Messages - Facebook allows users to communicate with their social media friends by sending private messages. The Facebook private messages enable the sender and receiver to communicate in private. Many customers these days interact with a business or brands by sending private messages on Facebook. The businesses must reply to Facebook private messages proactively to boost omni-channel customer experience.
Facsimile (Fax) - A facsimile or fax is a machine that help users to transmit documents from one location to another electronically. The machine will scan the document and then transmit it over a telephone line or an internet connection. Many customers these days communicate with businesses by sending faxes. While implementing omni-channel customer service strategy, managers must focus extensively on facsimile as a popular customer service delivery channel.
Fast Clear Down - The call centers use fast clear down as a metric to determine the number of customers who disconnect calls immediately after hearing a delay notice. The contact centers explore ways to keep customer engaged while playing the delay message.
Federal Communications Commission - The United Sates government has set up Federal Communication Commission (FCC) as an independent agency for regulating both interstate and international communication over radio, television, cable, wire, and satellites. FCC is responsible for implementing and enforcing various communication laws and regulations in America.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - File Transfer Protocol (FTP) refers to a standard network protocol for facilitating transfer of digital between the client and the server on a computer network. The new age contact center solutions allow agents to send digital files to customers using FTP.
First Contact Resolution (FCR) - As a customer relationship management technique, first contact resolution or first call resolution (FCR) emphasizes on addressing a customer's need properly when he/she calls the business for the first time. FCR helps businesses to boost customer experience by eliminating the need to make the customer more calls to follow up the first call. The new age call center solutions facilitate FCR by routing incoming calls to the appropriate agent or department.
Flowchart - Flowchart refers to a diagram or graphical representation of various steps in a process. It depicts each stage in the process using a distinct symbol and a brief description. The stages are further interlinked with each other using arrow marks to depict sequence of events or flow direction of the process.
Flushing Out the queue - The redirection or rerouting of callers from a lengthy queue to a different group to avoid extensive wait time. This particular method helps in assisting the callers a lot sooner than the original queue could have.
Full Coverage Scheduling - Full coverage scheduling is a call center scheduling principle that emphasizes on creation of call center schedules according to specific coverage objective. As the schedule considers and covers all requirements, it becomes easier for call centers to deliver better customer service and make provision for off-phone activities of agents. But full coverage scheduling often make call centers incur additional operational cost.
Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) - The call centers use full-time equivalent (FTE) as a metric to determine the number of full-time agents required to manage call volume efficiently. The managers calculate FTE by dividing scheduled working hours of agents by the number of working hours per week. Hence, one FTE is equivalent to an agent who works full-time in the call center.
Funnel Forecasting - Funnel forecasting requires call center managers to forecast call volumes for one year, and then keep narrowing the forecast period. For instance, the managers can forecast annual call volume and then forecast call volumes per quarter, month, week, and day.back to top
Gap Analysis - Gap analysis can be described as the method of comparing the actual performance and potential/desired performance of a software application/business information system. The call center managers perform gap analysis to decide the measures or changes required to improve call center performance and achieve the desired goal.
Gate - The call centers use the term gate, group, and split interchangeably. The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions and automated call distributors (ACDs) use gate as a routing technique to divert incoming calls to a specific group of agents. The call center solutions route incoming calls to a specific agent group based on a number of criteria - telephone number called by them and type of transaction initiated by them.
GOautodial - GoAutoDial is an open source dialer system that installs various components to have a functional predictive dialer system. It blends the functionalities of a predictive dialer, IVR, IP PBX, and inbound ACD system. It was formerly known as VICIdialNOW. It also has support from telephony hardware and is scalable to a great extent. It is entirely web-based with all the functionalities on your web browser. Its features are that of an enterprise level, but it is also a pocket-friendly solution for small businesses.
Grade of Service (GOS) - The outsourced call center service providers use grade of service (GOS) as a key metric to measure the number of answered calls and abandoned calls. Normally, GOS is represented as a percentage of total number of calls over a specific period of time.
Graphical User Interface (GUI) - Graphical user interface (GUI) refers to the user interfaces of software applications that are designed using a variety of visual indicators - icons, buttons and windows. Unlike command line interface (CLI), GUI enables users to perform specific tasks without executing text-based commands.
GrXML - GrXML is the W3C specification for Speech Recognition Grammar. The developers use GrXML to specify speech recognition grammar. As a set of word patterns, the speech recognition grammar makes a text-to-speech solution understand what a human is expected to say. At present, the standard is commonly used by various speech applications.back to top
Handle - While using Twitter, a user needs to define his identify using a handle or username. The handle always starts with the symbol -@. Twitter allows users to select and customize handles or usernames while creating their social media profile.
Handled Call - The term handled call depicts the number of calls handled by agents over a specific period of time. While calculating handled call, managers ignore the number of abandoned calls and blocked calls. They considered only the calls which are answered by call center agents.
Handle Time - The managers use handle time or average handle time (AHT) as a metric to determine average duration of a transaction. Handle time includes the amount of time an agent spends on interacting with a customer, performing after-call work, and taking the initiatives required to process the call.
Hashtag - Hashtag can be defined as any message or phrase preceded by the hash sign (#). Popular social networking websites like Twitter use hashtags as meta tag to help users find appropriate messages or content based on specific theme or topic. The users can generate hashtags while posting content on the social networking websites to keep their messages or posts searchable target audience.
Help Desk - The term help desk refers to an enterprise's call center or customer support departments. The customers call a business's help desk to gather specific information about a product/service or resolve specific issues. Many IT companies these days set up help desks as an individual department to answer technical questions asked by customer and provide technical assistance on demand.
Historical Reports - The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions and automatic call distributors (ACDs) make it easier for managers to monitor a call center's performance and assess an agent's performance by generating historical reports. The mangers can refer to the reports generated based on historical call data to conduct performance assessment over a specific period of time.
Hit Rate - The businesses use hit rate as a metric to measure performance of sales team and marketing campaigns. The managers calculate hit rate by dividing the number of products sold or orders received by the number of calls made to customers. For instance, the hit rate will stand at 60%, if the agents made 10 calls and 6 customers purchase the product.
Home Agent - Home agent refers to a call center agent who works from home. Normally, call centers deploy home agents as remote agents. The cloud-based contact center solutions help businesses to deliver customer service seamlessly by replacing staff agents with home agents.
Hosted Call Center - Like on-premise call centers, hosted call centers handle a business's inbound and outbound communications. But hosted call centers do not run on the business's onsite IT infrastructure. They are deployed on a remote IT infrastructure which is provided and maintained by the cloud service providers. In addition to reducing call center operational cost, hosted call centers accelerate customer service delivery by leveraging new age call center solutions like interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distributor (ACD), and auto dialers and predictive dialers.
Hosted Dialer - A hosted dialer refers to an automatic dialer or auto dialer which is deployed in the cloud. The hosted dialers run on a remote IT infrastructure provided and managed by the cloud service provider. The call centers can access the hosted dialers over the internet without using any specific hardware or software. In addition to reducing call center cost, hosted auto dialers come with sophisticated features to boost agent efficiency and drive outbound marketing campaigns.back to top
Idle Time - The term idle time or available represents the amount of time a call center agent spends on performing tasks other than talking to customers and performing after-call work. Idle time is also described as waiting for call time. It depicts the amount of time a call center agent needs to handle the next call. The managers calculate idle time as a metric as a percentage of an agent's total logged in time.
Imaging - Imaging refers to the process of scanning hard copy documents and storing the scanned documents in image format. Many call centers use document imaging techniques to archive hard copy documents in digital format.
Immutable Law - Immutable law is often described as the unification of core values, ethics and self-assigned laws. The immutable law defines an organization as well as its businesses. The managers cannot manage call center operations efficiently without understanding a set of immutable laws. The immutable laws help managers to identify and understand the aspects of a call center that cannot be altered.
Inbound - Inbound refers to the communication or interaction initiated by customers. The customers these days initiate inbound communication through multiple channels - telephone, email, text message, fax, chats and social media. The businesses need to focus extensively on inbound customer interactions while implementing omni-channel customer service strategy.
Inbound Call Center - An Inbound Call Center handles all the incoming calls from customers. When a customer initiates a call, it is known as an inbound call. Inbound call centers exclusively handle only inbound calls with no or minimum outbound activity. Most inbound call centers are customer service focussed as customers call them when they have an issue regarding the product or service they specialize in.
Inbound Sales - Inbound sales refer to sales or lead generation opportunities created through communication initiated by the existing or prospective customers. The agents must focus on individual customers, understand their needs, and meet their expectations to boost inbound sales. Many businesses these days drive inbound sales by embedding click-to-call options in their websites.
Incoming Call Center Management - Incoming call center management refers to the process of managing a specific volume of incoming calls efficiently by deploying adequate agents and using the right call center software. Many call centers these days use cloud-based tools and solutions to simplify incoming call center management without incurring additional expenses.
Incremental Revenue (Value) Analysis - The managers perform incremental revenue (value) analysis to determine value of individual call center agents. They calculate approximate value of every agent by performing cost and benefit/revenue analysis. Incremental revenue analysis helps managers to take a major decision like adding agents or downsizing agents.
Information Mailbox - Like interactive voice response solutions and auto attendants, information mailbox helps call centers to expedite customer service delivery by directing callers to a pre-recorded menu system. The pre-recorded menu system enables customer to avail relevant information or resolve simple issues by choosing the appropriate option. The call centers leverage information mailbox to reduce surge in incoming call volume.
Information Technology (IT) - Information technology (IT) includes the devices, infrastructure, and processes required to collect, store, retrieve, and share information in digital format. Most call centers these days leverage IT to store, access, transmit, and manipulate real-time customer data collected through various communication channels.
Instructor-led Classroom Training - Instructor-led classroom training refers to the conventional learning model. The model requires learners to enhance their knowledge in a classroom environment and by availing the assistance and guidance on an instructor. Many contact centers these days implement instructor-led classroom training to make agents learn under the guidance of a teacher or instructor as opposed to the digital methods.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) - As widely used telecommunication technology, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) facilitates digital transmission of voice, data, audio, and video over standard telephone lines. The contact centers leverage ISDN to transfer voice and data traffic digitally, simultaneously, and efficiently. They even have the option to choose from two distinct levels of ISDN - primary rate interface (PRI) and basic rate interface (BRI).
Interactions - Many businesses these days focus on customer interaction management to interact with customers seamlessly. But the customers these days interact with a business through various communication channels - telephone, emails, text messages, chat, fax and social media. Hence, the businesses need robust customer interaction management solutions to facilitate omni-channel customer interaction. They even need to allow customers to interact by talking to live agent and using self-service options.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) - An interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated telephone system that interacts with customers automatically using DTMF tones and speech recognition technology. Many call centers these days leverage IVR to enable customers to collect relevant information or resolve simple issues by interacting with a live agent or using self-service options. The sophisticated IVR solutions come with features to help businesses expedite and automate customer service delivery without increasing inbound call center cost.
Interflow - The automatic call distributors (ACDs) use interflow as a routing technique to reduce wait time when the queue is busy. The routing technique diverts incoming calls to an external site like voicemail box automatically when the queue is busy. The ACDs allow managers to set the amount of time an incoming call remains in the queue before being diverted to the external site.
Internal Help Desk - The internal help desk software helps businesses to streamline their internal communication. It even supports multiple communication channels - emails, chat, phones and mobile apps. The features provided by internal help desk help organizations to manage a variety of internal issues - technological problems, administration cases and employee queries - efficiently and timely.
Internal Response Time - The managers use internal response time as a metric to measure responsiveness of a support group or escalation team to a particular transaction or issue. The managers monitor internal response time by calculating the amount of time required by the support group or escalation team to handle a specific task assigned to it.
Internet "Call Me" Transaction - The term internet "call me" transaction refers to the click-to-call/click-to-contact option included by businesses in their websites. The option enables website visitors to request a call back simply by clicking on the click-to-call button, link, or image. The contact center agents call back the customer based on the internet "call me" transaction initiated by him/her.
Internet Phone - Internet phone/broadband phone refers to the digital communication devices that enable users to manage incoming and outgoing calls over the internet. Many businesses these days switch from Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to internet phone to accelerate customer service delivery and reduce monthly phone bills by switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Intraflow - The automatic call distributors (ACDs) use intraflow as a routing technique to route incoming calls from one agent group to another in the same environment. The managers can configure intraflow based on multiple factors - the maximum number of calls in the queue and the amount of wait time. Intraflow helps call centers to answer incoming calls quickly by transferring calls to an agent group that is free to handle calls.
Invisible Queue - Invisible queue refers to a call center queue that does not specify the amount of time a caller has to wait till interacting with a call center agent. Often invisible queues make callers frustrated and lead to increase in call abandonment rate.
ISO 9001/2000 - As standards for quality management systems, ISO 9001/2000 outlines the requirements for a quality management system. The systems or solutions need to be developed based on 7 quality management principles to meet ISO 9001/2000 requirements. However, the ISO 9001 certifications issued by third-party certification bodies confirm that the specific quality management system meets all ISO 9001/2000 requirements.back to top
Java - Java is a widely used general purpose programming language. In addition to being one of the official programming languages for Android app development. It is also one of the most preferred language for development of desktop applications, websites and web applications. Java is also currently being used by Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning projects.
Java Telephony Application Programming Interface (JTAPI) - Java Telephony Application Programming Interface (JTAPI) refers to an application programming Interface (API) that helps computer telephony applications. The core package consists of simple features like placing, answering or dropping a call and extension packages providing advanced features that help ease the computer telephone process. The extensible and scalable nature of JTAPI makes it easier for programmers to use it for a wide range of domains.
Job Description - Job description refers to a formal account of an employee's role, responsibilities, and duties. The written summary depicts important aspects of a specific position or job including title, designation, purpose, scope, duties, responsibilities, and working conditions. Hence, job description differs from one position or job to another.
Job Evaluation - As a human resource management technique, job evaluation focus on determining value of jobs or rating jobs in an organization. The call center managers often perform job evaluation to determine levels of compensation or remuneration based on the relative value of a specific job in the call center.
Judgemental Forecasting - Unlike other forecasting methods, judgemental forecasting emphasizes usage of subjective data like intuitions, executive opinions, beliefs, and market research. The decision makers opt for judgemental forecasting when there is inadequate historical data or the market conditions are completely new.back to top
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) - The term key performance indicator (KPI) refers to the metrics or measure values that help a business to assess its effectiveness in achieving preset objectives. Different businesses use a variety of KPIs to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of their call centers. They even use separate set of KPIs to measure effectiveness of inbound call centers and outbound call centers.
Keypad - Keypad is often described as a set of buttons/keys arranged in the form of a pad or block. The buttons/keys bear a variety of digits, letters, and symbols. The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions allow callers to choose from a range of self-service options by using the keypad on their telephones.
Knowledge Base - Knowledge Base acts as a centralized database of real-time information, it helps call centers to access relevant information or document it to better answer customer questions or resolve customer queries. Many call centers these days implement knowledge base software to make it easier for agents to ensure first call resolution and reduce call handling time.
Knowledge Management System - A knowledge management system refers to the software developed based on fundamental knowledge management principles. The systems come with a feature to facilitate storage, access, and sharing of information or documents. The call centers leverage knowledge management systems to enable customers to access the information required for answering customer questions or resolving customer complaints. It also helps the agent to better understand the customer profile and provide relevant information.back to top
Labor Saturation Rate - The contact centers use labor saturation rate as a metric to measure availability of capable agents in a specific labor market. The managers calculate labor saturation rate by dividing the number of call center positions by the total working population of the specific area. Hence, labor saturation rate differ across cities. A saturation rate between 1% and 2% is considered to be healthy.
LAMA - LAMA is the acronym of four important steps in customer interaction – listen, acknowledge, make a statement, and ask a question. The call centers use LAMA as a tool to manage and guide customer conversations purposefully. While preparing agent training programs, call center managers emphasize on LAMA to make agents control the calls effectively.
Last-Mile Delivery - Last-mile delivery refers to the process of moving products from the transportation hub to the customer’s residence. The ecommerce businesses explore ways to accelerate last-mile delivery to improve customer experience and beat completion.
Lifetime Value (LTV) - The marketers use lifetime value (LTV) or customer lifetime value as a metric to estimate the monetary worth of a customer to the business. The managers ascertain LTV of a customer based on value of his relationship with the business over a specific period of time. The call centers use LTV as a key metric to understand and prioritize customers.
Live Chat - The businesses include live chat options in their websites to enable visitors to answer specific questions simply by clicking on the live chat option. As a commonly used communication channel, live chat helps businesses to automate and expedite customer service delivery. The call centers leverage live chat to facilitate real-time interaction between customers and agents through written conversation.
Live Monitoring - The live monitoring feature provided by new age contact center solutions help managers or supervisors to monitor and evaluate real-time interaction between customers and agents across communication channels – telephone, emails, chats and social media. The call center solutions allow supervisors to assess call quality by listening to live calls. The live monitoring feature helps managers to provide relevant assistance to agents at the right time.
Load Balancing - Load balancing refers to the process of routing incoming call to the optimal destination or target– call queue and agent group. The call center solutions implement various load balancing techniques to reduce customer wait time and call abandonment rate.
Local Area Network (LAN) - Local area network (LAN) refers to a network of interconnected computing devices that share a common communication line. LAN enables call centers to facilitate information sharing by connecting and integrating computing devices within a limited area.
Local Calls - Local calls refer to the short-distance telephone calls made to a number in the same circle. The providers normally do not charge toll charges additionally on local calls. The absence of toll charges makes local calls less expensive than long-distance calls. But the local call rates differ across carriers and locations.
Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) - The public telephone companies in the USA use Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) as a regulatory term. LEC depicts the local area within which the telecommunication service provider operates and provides telecommunication services. The LECs are often regarded as local telephone companies.
Logged On - Logged on or logged in refers to the status of an agent who is connected to the call center solution. The managers refer to the status to check if an agent has signed in. However, logged on does not indicate an agent’s availability to handle calls.
Logs - As written records, logs present an accurate picture of that tasks performed by a call center agent during the day.
Long Call - The contact centers use long call as a tag to categorize calls according to their duration. The managers use long call as a technique to implement traffic engineering more efficiently. Normally, the duration of long calls exceeds 30 minutes.
Long-Distance Calls - Long-distance calls or trunk calls refer to the telephone calls made to a number located outside a specific local calling area. The telephone companies require callers to pay toll charges while making long-distance calls. The toll charges make long-distance calls much more expensive than local calls. Many businesses these days curtail long-distance call charged by leveraging voice over internet protocol (VoIP).
Longest Available Agent - The term longest available agent depicts a call center agent who has been sitting idle for a longer period of time than other agents. While transferring calls, the automatic call distributors (ACDs) and interactive voice response (IVR) solutions consider longest available agent as the next available agent.
Longest Delay in Queue (LDQ) - Longest delay in queue (LDQ) refers to the maximum amount of time a caller waits after the incoming call is transferred to the queue for talking to a live agent or abandoning the call. The call centers use LDQ as a key performance indicator (KPI) to understand and monitor the queue times.
Look-Ahead Routing - The incoming call routing technique evaluates availability of an agent group or trunk group before transferring or overflowing calls from the primary queue. Look-ahead looking helps call center solutions to distinguish between availability of various agent groups.back to top
M-Commerce - M-commerce or mobile commerce is popularly described as next generation electronic commerce. M-commerce refers to purchase and sale of products/services conducted using wireless hand-held devices like smart-phones, tablets and laptops. Many businesses these days launch mobile applications to facilitate M-commerce transactions.
Make Busy - Make busy depicts the status of a call center agent who is currently busy. An agent may be busy in talking to customers, wrapping up calls, or performing after-call work. The status indicates that the agent is currently not available to handle incoming calls.
Management by Walking Around (MBWA) - As a style of business management, management by walking around (MBWA) emphasizes on the manager monitoring employee activities and checking status of ongoing work by wandering around the workplace in an unstructured way. Many managers adopt MBWA to observe agents handle calls and monitor call quality by walking through the call center.
Marketing Agency - The marketing agencies help businesses to drive sales and increase profit by conducting elaborate market research, implementing marketing strategies, reaching out to potential customers, and building relationship with the target audience. Many businesses form partnership with marketing agencies to identify more profitable markets and launch their products in new markets.
Master Service Agreement (MSA) - A master service agreement (MSA) refers to a contract negotiated and signed by two parties which contains the terms that will govern any future transactions and agreements. A MSA covers both current as well as potential services and define performance objectives according to service level agreement (SLA).
Maximum Delay to Abandon - Maximum delay to abandon refers to a call center metric for measuring the maximum time a caller waited before disconnecting or abandoning the call. The call centers explore ways to reduce maximum delay to abandon to improve customer experience and reduce call abandonment rate.
Maximum Delay to Answer - Maximum delay to answer refers to a call center metric for measuring the maximum time an incoming call remains in the queue before a live agent talked to the caller. The call centers must reduce maximum delay to answer to prevent callers from abandoning or disconnecting incoming calls.
Menu - Menu refers to a list of commands, options, or facilities displayed on screens. The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions deliver customer service automatically by allowing callers to choose from a list of self-service options. The callers even have the option to choose from the IVR menu by using the phone keypad and giving voice commands.
Metric - The businesses evaluate call center operations and performances based on a variety of metrics. As a unit of measurement, a metric helps businesses to evaluate important aspects of call centers - number of answered calls, call quality and agent efficiency. The metrics help call centers to accelerate customer service delivery and improve customer experience. Some examples of important metrics are the average talk time(ATT), average handle time (AHT), Abandonment rate, etc.
Middleware - Middleware refers to the software that acts as a bridge between an application/database and the operating system. The application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by the middleware enables software applications to access the underlying features of the platform and device. It is basically allowing the software and the hardware to work more cohesively together.
Mission Statement - A mission statement describes why an enterprise exists in a clear and concise way. Despite being a short statement, a mission statement depicts an enterprise's values, aims, and goals clearly. The mission statement of a call center emphasizes on delivering superior quality customer service in a fast and cost-efficient way.
Mobile - The term mobile can be described as the ability to move freely and seamlessly. But people these days use the term mobile as a synonym of cell phones - smartphones and tablets. The businesses these days launch mobile applications and make their websites mobile friendly to facilitate mobile commerce transactions.
Mobile Voice - As an emerging technological trend, mobile voice integrates two widely used technologies - mobile and speech recognition. The new age interactive voice response (IVR) solutions leverage mobile voice technology to enable customers to interact with call centers and talk to a call center agent in a hands-free way. The mobile voice technology even allows customers to interact with the IVR system by giving voice commands.
Modem - As a widely used network device, a modem enables computing devices to transmit data over a telephone line or satellite connection. Many call centers these days use high-speed digital modems to send and receive data efficiently using computers.
Monitoring - As a systematic process, monitoring emphasizes on observing and checking the quality of a system or process based on information collected from various sources. The new age call center solutions come with built-in features to facilitate call monitoring. The feature helps managers to evaluate quality of call, maintain quality standards, and identify issues.
Multichannel - While implementing marketing strategy, managers need to focus on reaching out to customers and leads through multichannel or multiple channels - telephone, emails, text messages, chat, fax and social media. They explore ways to interact with more customers through multiple communication channels by implementing a single strategy. More and more businesses are moving towards the multichannel call center approach as it allows better connection and communication with the customer.
Multichannel Cloud Call Center - Multichannel cloud call center refers to a call center hosted in the cloud that enable agents to interact with customers through multiple communication channels - telephones, chat, emails, text messages, fax and social media. The cloud-based technologies enable businesses to set up and run multichannel call centers in a quick and cost-efficient way.
Multimedia - Multimedia refers to the digital content which is created by combining multiple mediums - text, graphic, images, audio, video and animations. The contact centers these days deliver customer service using both mono-media and multimedia. The phone calls are regarded as mono-media, while video chats are considered as multimedia.
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) - The telecommunication networks use multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) as a routing technique to direct data from one node to another using the short path levels. MPLS accelerates data transmission speed and network transmission by using short path levels instead of long and complex network addresses.back to top
Natural Language Speech Recognition (NLSR) - As a licensed feature, Natural Language Speech Recognition (NLSR) provides interactive voice response (IVR) solutions with a natural conversational interface. The natural conversational interface enable the IVR system to recognize specific words and phrases as well as interpret the speech accurately and assign meaning to the speech recognized by it. It provides a scope for having conversational communication with the customers using IVR.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) - Natural language processing is a subfield of Artificial Intelligence. It is when the computer can understand human language in its spoken form. It is a human-computer interaction with the computer understanding human language in its natural format. NLP paves the way for a conversational context in AI-driven assistants and chatbots.
Natural Language Understanding (NLU) - As a category of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language understanding (NLU) facilitates direct human-computer interaction. The new age call center solutions use NLU to understand user input collected in the form of sentences in both speech and text format. Unlike natural language processing (NLP), NLU makes call center solutions understand what the caller actually means.
Net Promoter Score - As a management tool, net promoter score (NPS) helps businesses to measure customer experience and customer loyalty based on an index ranging from -100 to 100. The NPS depicts the willingness of a customer to recommend or endorse a business's products or services to others. Many businesses these days use NPS as a robust alternative to customer satisfaction research to assess overall customer satisfaction accurately.
Network Control Center - Network control center or network management center refers to the centralized location from which the entire network of an organization is controlled. A network control center can be a single software application or a set of network management tools according to the scale and complexity of the network. Many businesses use a single network control center to monitor and control multiple networks.
Network Inter-Flow - The multi-site contact centers implement network inter-flow to distribute incoming calls between multiple sites efficiently. The automatic call distributors (ACDs) supporting network inter-flow routes incoming calls to another queue or agent group automatically when there is a surge in incoming call volume.
Next Available Agent - The term next available agent represents a call center agent who is available to handle the next call. The automatic call distributors (ACDs) normally consider the longest available agent as the next available agent. They route incoming calls to an agent who has remained idle for the longest duration.
Noise Cancelling Headset - Often background noise distracts contact center agents when they are interacting with customers. The contact centers these days provide agents with noise cancelling headsets to minimize background noise. The noise cancelling headsets improve customer experience by enabling agents to focus only on customer interaction. This also makes sure that the agent comprehends and solves the customer problem with utmost attention.
Non-ACD in Calls - The automatic call distributors (ACDs) hold incoming calls in a queue and get the queue processed by available agents. The non-ACD in calls is incoming calls that are transferred directly to an agent instead of being transferred to an agent group. Many call centers enable non-ACD in calls to let customers to speak to an agent directly by dialing a specific extension. Call centers use this for their important customers or when there is a scope of emergency in their business.
Non-Productive Agent Time - Non-productive or off-phone agent time refers to the amount of time an agent spends on activities other than customer interaction and after-call work. Normally, non-productive agent time includes the amount of time an agent spends on attending team meetings, training programs and taking breaks.
Not Ready State - Not ready state represents the status of a call center agent who is currently not available to handle calls. Normally, agents go into not ready state immediately after answering the call. The state allows them to complete the after-call work before handling the next call.back to top
Occupancy - The managers determine occupancy by dividing total workload hours by total staff hours. The metric helps managers to know the percentage of time an agent spends on handling incoming calls and the percentage of time he/she remains idle or available. However, occupancy does not depict agent productivity. The call centers explore ways to reduce occupancy to accelerate customer service delivery.
Offered Call - The term offered call refers to the calls received by an automatic call distributor (ACD). Offered calls include both answered calls and abandoned calls. However, a call center can calculate offered calls in a number of ways. Some contact centers consider the incoming calls received at the switch level, whereas others consider the calls that start playing recorded messages.
Off-Peak - Off-peak represents the time period when a call center handles less calls than the number of calls handled during busy period. The call centers need to consider both peak and off-peak times to maintain the required staffing level. Many call centers keep agents productive and motivated by organizing agent training programs and team building exercises during off-peak times.
Omnichannel - Omichannel refers to cross-channel or multi-channel strategies that help businesses to boost customer experience. Many businesses these days implement omnichannel marketing strategy to reach out to customers through varying communication channels - telephone, emails, chat, text messages and social media. Likewise, many businesses deliver customer service through multiple communication channels to improve customer experience and promote brand loyalty.
Omnichannel Call Center - An omnichannel call centers help businesses to deliver customer service and run outbound call campaigns through multiple customer touch points. Many businesses these days move their contact centers to the cloud to deliver seamless customer experience across commonly used communication channels - telephone, emails, text messages, chat and social media.
Omnichannel Customer Experience - The businesses these days improve omnichannel customer experience by interacting with customers through various touch points proactively and seamlessly. While planning marketing campaigns and implementing customer service strategy, the decision makers focus on omnichannel customer experience to achieve preset goals.
Omnichannel Customer Service - Omnichannel customer service helps businesses to allow customers to avail assistance and support through their preferred communication channels. The cloud-based contact center solutions help businesses to deliver omnichannel customer service efficiently by unifying multiple touch points and interactions throughout the customer lifecycle.
Onboarding - Onboarding refers to process of making customers familiarize with a business's products/services or integrating a new employee into the organization. The cloud telephony services help businesses to simplify customer onboarding by reaching out to more customers and making them understand the products/services across multiple communication channels.
Online Review Management - Online review management is the process of managing and responding to the online reviews and comments posted by customers. No business these days can protect its brand reputation without focusing on online review management. It needs to deploy skilled professionals to respond to online customer reviews and comments in the most appropriate way. Online review management helps new and potential customers to take the right purchase decision.
Open Ticket - The term open ticket represents a customer complaint or query which is yet to be completed. The tickets remain open till the issue is resolved. Once the issue is resolved, the ticket will be closed. The open tickets help contact centers to deliver customer support without deploying additional call center agents.
Outbound - The term outbound refers to the outgoing telephone calls initiated by call center agents to existing customers and leads. The agents make outbound calls on behalf of a business or client while running outbound marketing campaigns.
Outbound Call Center - An outbound call center handles the outgoing calls to prospects or customers. When the agent initiates a call to the customer or a potential customer, it is known as an outbound call. Outbound call centers are majorly focussed on sales as they are making calls to a list of people they would like to target for their product or service.
Outsourced Call Center - An outsourced call center refers to the external company that offer call center services to businesses or clients. Many businesses these days partner with external companies to handle some or all aspect of customer experience in an efficient and inexpensive way. The outsourced call centers interact with customers and leads on behalf of the business through multiple communication channels.
Outsourcing - Outsourcing refers to the business practice of outsourcing call center operations to an external or third-party company. Many businesses these days opt for call center outsourcing to run marketing campaigns and deliver customer service efficiently by reducing the time, effort, and money required to run in-house call center facilities.
Overflow - Often call center route incoming calls from one agent group to another when the incoming call volume increases unexpectedly. The automatic call distributors (ACDs) check the call handling capacity of the target group and reroute the calls to another target group if the original target group lack the capacity to handle more calls. Overflow helps call centers to manage surge in incoming call volume and answer incoming calls without any delay.back to top
Pacing Algorithm - While initiating outbound calls, auto dialers refer to a set of instructions known as pacing algorithm. Pacing algorithm helps automatic dialers make outbound calls more efficiently by checking agent availability in real-time. The new age auto dialers use auto pacing algorithms to speed up or slow down outbound dialing by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Pareto Principle - Pareto principle is also known as the 80/20 rule. The call centers implement Pareto Principle to improve customer experience and satisfaction. The principle named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto states that 80% of effects come from 20% causes. The managers focus extensively on the 20% causes to improve call center performance and increase return on investment (ROI).
Passion - Passion is often described as the uncontrollable feeling for something or strong belief in something. The contact centers use brand passion as a tool to measure intensity of loyalty or passions of customers for a particular brand, product, or service.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) - As a widely used information technology standard, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) emphasizes on optimization of security of debit and card transactions by recommending a set of policies and procedures. The organizations accepting cashless payments adhere to PCI DSS to keep personal information of cardholders private and prevent misuse of their debit/credit cards.
Peak - Peak refers to the time period or season when a contact center handles the highest number of calls. The peak season differs across industries. For instance, the call centers of retail businesses normally handle more calls during the holiday season starting from Thanksgiving. The call centers consider peak as an important factor to handle surge in call volume.
Peak Traffic - The term peak traffic indicates the highest amount of calls handled by a telecommunication system. The call centers need to measure peak traffic based on both incoming and outgoing calls.
Peaked Traffic - Peaked traffic refers to a surge in call volume at a call center. The call centers calculate peaked traffic regularly to keep in place the measures required to handle unpredictable customer traffic.
Peer-to-Peer Platform - Peer-to-Peer (P2P) platforms refer to the web-based services that facilitate direct interaction between lenders and borrowers. The lenders leverage P2P platforms to interact with and avail credit from borrowers directly without involving any intermediaries. Also, the P2P platforms help lenders to provide credit to borrowers directly to individuals, businesses, or charities.
Percent Allocation - As a contact routing strategy, percent allocation help call centers to allocate time and resources to individual processes adequately. The multi-site call centers leverage percent allocation to manage surge in call volume by routing incoming calls from one site to another based on predetermined call handling capacity.
Performance Incentive - Performance incentive or performance-linked incentive refers to the payment made by an employer to an employee based on his/her performance output. Most organizations these days mention performance incentive explicitly in the employment contract. The call centers offer performance incentive to outbound agents to boost marketing campaigns and increase sales conversion.
Performance Management - As a whole work system, performance management helps businesses to ensure that pre-defined goals are being achieved efficiently, effectively, and consistently. While implementing performance management strategies, the decision makers focus on the performance of an employee, department, or process. The even monitor and evaluate performance based on a set of relevant metrics.
Performance Standards - Performance standards refer to the performance requirements, expectations, and thresholds defined by the management in advance for appraising performance of an employee, department, or process. The call centers evaluate their performance based on a set of metrics and performance benchmarks.
Point Estimation - In statistics, point estimation refers to the process of finding a single value using sample data and based on various parameters. A point estimate helps statisticians to estimate a single value that represents a range of scores. The call centers calculate point estimates to forecast workload and predict surge in call volume.
Poisson - The call canters use Poisson as an arrival model for incoming calls. They use Poisson arrival model to transfer incoming calls to a queue efficiently when the arrival rate keeps fluctuating or is unknown.
Pooling Principle - Pooling Principle helps businesses to achieve operational improvement by pooling customer demands and the resources required to meet the customer demand. While planning resource management, the managers use pooling principle to use the available resources to fulfil any customer demand. The call centers use pooling principle to improve traffic-related efficiency by consolidating available resources.
Predictive Dialer - Predictive dialer is a type of automatic dialer that initiates outbound calls based on agent availability using predictive statistical analysis. Like other auto dialers, predictive dialers also dials telephone numbers from a list or database automatically. The predictive dialing solutions also have the capability to detect busy tones, answering machines, disconnected calls, and voicemails. They transfer only answered calls to live agents. Many contact centers these days leverage cloud-based predictive dialers to run outbound marketing campaigns efficiently without incurring additional expenses.
Predictive Hang-Up - The auto dialers dial telephone numbers automatically and sequentially. They further transfer only answered calls to live agent. But the dialers also have the capability to check agent availability and disconnect outbound calls if no agent is available to handle these calls. Predictive hang-up refers to the dialers aborting outbound calls due to unavailability of agents.
Preview Dialer - Like other auto dialers, preview dialers also call telephone number from a list or database automatically and sequentially. But the preview dialers allow the agent to access customer information before initiating outbound calls. The agents even have the option to initiate the outbound calls at the right time. The agents leverage preview dialers to personalize customer interaction and call the customer at the right time.
Primary Rate Interface (PRI) - Primary Rate Interface (PRI) is one of the two telecommunication interface standards used on Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). Unlike Basic Rate Interface (BRI), PRI is intended for large enterprises and contact centers that manage a large number of calls on a regular basis. PRI accelerate data and voice transmission by providing 23 bearer channels.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX) - The enterprises use Private Branch Exchange (PBX) as a private telephone network to carry out internal communication using widely used communication channels like voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). Many enterprises these days opt for hosted PBX systems to communicate internally and externally by leveraging benefits of cloud computing.
Private Network - Private networkf refers to a communication network which is owned and used by an enterprise exclusively. Normally, private networks facilitate communication using private IP address space. Many organizations keep their private networks isolated from public networks and the internet to prevent security attacks.
Probability of Delay - The contact centers use probability of delay as a metric to understand flow of contacts. The managers calculate probability of delay by dividing the number of calls delayed for more than 0 seconds by the total number of calls.
Process Improvement - Process improvement can be described as a management exercise that focuses on identifying, analyzing, and improving various business processes. The managers use a variety of metrics to analyze a process and identify the process bottlenecks. They even explore ways to meet new targets and quality standards by making process improvement an ongoing management exercise.
Process Management - Process management refers to alignment of a process to an organization's goals. While implementing process management strategy, decision makers focus on analyzing each process elaborately and detect the measures required to optimize the process according to predefined organizational goals. Process management emphasizes on making workflows more efficient and effective.
Process Map - As a planning and management tool, process map describes a process or workflow visually. The employees refer to the process map to understand various aspects of a standard business process and the activities or tasks associated with the specific process. The managers use specialize process mapping software to generate process maps based on a series of events that meet preset goals and deliver predefined results.
Procurement - In simple words, procurement can be described as the action of procuring or obtaining something. The businesses use a number of procurement tips and best practices to choose the right outsourced contact center.
Progressive Dialer - Progressive dialers dial telephone numbers from a list or database automatically and sequentially. The automated telephone dialing solutions further transfer only answered calls to live agents. But the progressive dialers initiate the next outbound calls as soon as an agent is available to handle the call. The call centers leverage progressive dialers to reduce the time gap between two outbound calls.
Promotional Cadence - Promotional cadence refers to the waves, patterns, or frequencies of brand promotion and marketing. While implementing marketing strategies, managers use promotional cadence as a tool to accelerate customer acquisition and improve customer engagement.
Public Relations Agency - The public relations agency helps businesses to build, enhance, and protect their reputation by providing a variety of professional services. Both enterprises and individuals avail the services provided by public relations agencies to create and maintain a positive image in public.
Proxy Server - A proxy server or proxy acts as an interface between a local network and a larger scale network. The call centers leverage proxy server to avail benefits in terms of performance and security.
Public Switched Network (PSN) - A public switched network or public switched telephone refers to aggregate of world's circuit-switched telephone networks. The PSNs are operated by local, national, and international telephone operators. They even provide the infrastructure and services required to facilitate public telecommunication.
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) - As a common carrier network, a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) provides circuit switching for public telecommunication. The local, national, and international telephone operators run PSTN to group and transmit data in the form of small tickets.back to top
Quality Analyst - Quality analyst refers to the designation of an employee who is responsible for implementing quality assurance (QA) principles and practices on call center operations and processes. In addition to monitoring and reviewing call center processes, the quality analyst ensures that the call center agents deliver high quality customer service by adhering to organizational goals. Many contact centers require quality analysts to spend time with agents and check if they are using the right script, welcome greetings, and after-call procedures.
Quality Assurance (QA) - The term quality assurance (QA) refers to the systematic process of checking if a product or service meets the specific quality requirements set in advance. The businesses keep in place quality assurance systems to ensure that build products or deliver services based on predefined requirements. The QA system helps organizations to deliver high quality products or services to customers by identifying and repairing all issues or bottlenecks.
QA Evaluation Sheets - Quality Assurance (QA) evaluation sheets refer to the forms used by contact centers to review work of agents. The QA evaluation sheets help managers to track and evaluate the way agents handle calls based on real-time data. The managers can even use QA evaluation sheets as a powerful tool to keep QA practices transparent and consistent across the call center.
Quantitative Forecasting - Unlike qualitative forecasting, quantitative forecasting does not predict future events based on subjective data. Instead, the forecasting technique predicts future events based on statistical evidence and historical trends. While performing quantitative forecasting, managers establish relationship between various factors using time series analysis and casual relationship model.
Quality Monitoring - Quality monitoring refers to the process of monitoring and reviewing the quality of a product, service, or process. The quality monitoring processes in contact centers focus on reviewing calls, chats, text messages, and social media interactions to ensure that the processes meet predefined quality standards and goals. The quality monitoring process help managers to improve omnichannel customer experience by identifying problems and meeting quality standards.
Queue - As a sequencing process, queues help call centers improve customer service quality. The automatic call distributors (ACDs) place incoming calls in lines or queues to distribute them evenly among available agents. The ACDs get the queued calls answered on first-come-first-serve basis. Hence, the calls are answered by agents in the order they are added to the call queue.back to top
Ramp-up - The term ramp-up is used to depict a large increase in the amount of products/services sold by a business. In economics and business, ramp-up is used to increase in a manufacturer's production to meet increase in product demand.
Random Call Arrivals - The call centers use random call arrivals as a metric to understand The flow of incoming calls (might sound better). As a normal random variation, random call arrivals do not consider specific pattern or interval.
Reader Boards - As their name suggests, reader boards are display boards that convey information about varying subjects or topics visually. The call centers use reader boards as visual communication tools to convey agent status, queue conditions, and call center performance based on both historical and real-time information.
Ready State - Ready state refers to the status of a call center agent who is ready or available to handle the next call. The interactive voice response (IVR) systems and automatic call distributors (ACDs) check availability of individual agents based on ready state.
Real-Time Adherence - The call center managers use real-time adherence as a metric to analyze agent status and schedule agent activities. They determine real-time adherence by comparing scheduled work time and current status of agents. The metric helps managers to boost agent productivity and availability by tracking their current status and activities.
Real-Time Alerts - The real-time alerts are immediate notifications delivered by various systems or software to inform users about important events. The real-time alerts differ according to the nature and usage of the software application. But each real-time notification helps businesses to get insight into a process or system at the right time.
Real-Time Data - Real-time data refers to the information delivered immediately after collection. The businesses use real-time computing to process and analyze the real-time data. They also use real-time data analytics to gain actionable insights by analyzing real-time data collected from diverse sources.
Real-Time Management - As a call center management technique, real-time management help managers to determine staffing requirements and manipulate scheduling based on queue levels. The managers perform real-time management to improve call center performance and profitability.
Received Calls - The term received calls refers to the incoming calls received by the trunk. Received calls include both answered calls and abandoned calls.
Recorded Announcement - The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions play recorded announcements or pre-recorded messages when the caller is waiting to talk to a live agent. The businesses have the option to keep the callers engaged by playing a variety of recorded announcements. Many businesses use recorded announcement as a marketing tool to convey information about products or services. Also, call centers use recorded announcements as a tool to reduce call abandon rate by informing estimated wait time or requesting call backs.
Recruiter - The term recruiter depicts position of an employee who is responsible for recruiting human resource for the organization. The recruiter normally hires call center staff by evaluating resumes, performing background checks, and conducting interviews.
Redial - Redial refers to the act of dialing a telephone number again when the previous attempt to connect fails. The telephone devices provide callers with the option to redial the specific number without typing the telephone number repeatedly.
Re-engineering - Re-engineering refers to the act of making radical changes to a process, product, or system to improve efficiency and user experience. Many businesses these days reengineer their call centers to improve operational efficiency and reduce operational cost. The cloud-based contact center solutions help businesses to re-engineer their call centers in a fast and inexpensive way.
Remote Agent - The term remote agents represent the call center agents who work from a location outside the contact centers. The cloud hosted call center solutions enable businesses to work with remote agents efficiently. Many call centers these days prefer remote agents to staff agents to avoid complex recruitment, training, and retention process.
Reporting Analyst - The reporting analysts act as a link between the management and raw enterprise data. They help managers to take informed decisions by preparing elaborate reports by utilizing and analyzing data collected from various sources. The reporting analysts use custom software to prepare reports that present data in an easy to read and understand way.
Request for Proposal (RFP) - The businesses use request for proposal (RFP) as a document to collect information about a product, service, or solution they are interested in procuring. The buyers require sellers or suppliers to convey information about specific products or services by providing RFP. The RFPs help managers to compare similar products or simplify bidding process.
Response Time - The contact centers use response time as a metric to separate the contacts that need not be handled immediately. For instance, the customer support executives can respond to an email sent by a customer in a few hours. Hence, agents refer to response time as the service level to ensure that contacts are being responded within the threshold time.
RespOrg - RespOrg or Responsible Organization is responsible for assignment, management, and maintenance of toll free numbers. A RespOrg has access to the SMS/800 database which contains information about all toll free numbers. When a user decides to port his/her toll free number, he/she needs to change the number's RespOrg ownership from the old carrier to the new carrier.
Retention Rate - Retention rate helps businesses to determine the percentage of customers/employees it retains at the end of a specific period. The businesses use retention rate as a metric to assess the marketing campaigns and customer service efforts. The managers calculate customer retention rate as a percentage of total customers who continue to use products/services over a given period of time.
Retrial - Retrial refers to the act of redialling a telephone number or retrying to call the business after receiving a busy signal.
Retrial Tables - The telecommunication traffic engineers use retrial tables to ensure that adequate trunk is available to handle incoming calls proactively. The managers determine trunk requirements based on a slew of factors - number of calls to be handled, number of agents required to handle the calls, and the number of trunks required to manage the workload.
Returns Management - Return management refers to the process kept in place by a business to manage the merchandize returned by customers. As a key supply chain management process, returns management covers all activities related to product returns.
Revenue Generation - Revenue generation refers to the process on generating income by boosting sale of products/sales. The businesses these days launch omnichannel marketing campaigns to boost sales and generate revenue. The outbound call centers help businesses to generate revenue by initiating and managing outbound voice campaigns.
Revenue Metrics - The businesses use revenue metrics as key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor and evaluate performance of marketing and sales efforts. The even use various revenue metrics to monitor performance of recurring revenue lines effectively and consistently.
Ring Delay - The call centers use ring delay as a tool to measure trunk hold time. The new age call centers allow managers to set the number of rings before an incoming call is answered by an auto attendant or the caller listen to a busy tone.
RNA (Ring No Answer): - At times, due to technical difficulty or other underlying reasons, an agent might not be available to pick up calls, and the call remains unanswered. This can cause a deflection in the productivity as a technical issue can also hamper the quality of the other ongoing calls.
Rostered Staff Factor (RSF) - The call centers use rostered staff factor (RSF) as a numeric factor to determine the minimum number of agents required to achieve service level and meet preset response objectives. RSF helps managers to determine the minimum staff required over and above base staff.
Round Robin Distribution - Round Robin Distribution (RRD) is a widely used technique of load balancing and load distribution. The contact centers use RRD as a tool to distribute calls, chats, emails, text message, and social media interactions internally. RRD emphasizes on the contact to be transferred to and responded by the next available agent.back to top
Scatter Diagram - A scatter diagram or scatter graph depicts relation between numerical data after pairing them. The decision makers use scatter diagrams as mathematical tools to study correlation between two variables. They create the diagram by plotting the values of the two variables across the two axes. The scatter diagrams are also used as quality control tools to present a lot of information visually and clearly.
Schedule - A schedule refers to a plan for carrying out a task, process, activity, or event. The call centers use schedules as a robust time management tool to manage workforce and streamline operations. The mangers need to analyze data collected from various sources efficiently to optimize call center scheduling.
Schedule Adherence - The contact centers use schedule adherence as a metric to check if an agent is adhering to his/her assigned schedule. The managers calculate the metric by dividing the total amount of time an agent is available to handle calls by dividing the total amount of time the agent is scheduled to work. They even explore ways to improve schedule adherence to boost call center performance and agent efficiency.
Schedule Exception - Schedule exception refers to the amount of time a call center agent spends on unplanned activities - team meeting, training programs, and unscheduled breaks. The managers consider the unplanned activities as part of the agent's assigned schedule. They even maintain an exception calendar to enhance staff availability and improve schedule adherence.
Schedule Horizon - The term schedule horizon refers to the frequency of schedule creation. A schedule horizon might be long or short based on a number of factors. The call centers keep schedule horizon short when the call volume and pattern do not change frequently. But they need to prepare schedules more frequently when the call center environment keeps changing regularly.
Scheduled Callback - The click-to-call options embedded in websites allow visitors to request either instant call back or scheduled call back. When the visitor opts for scheduled call back, the call center agents need to call at a specific date and time mentioned by him/her.
Scope of Work (SOW) - The call centers use scope of work (SOW) as a tool to define the work to be performed by the employees. Many call centers even use SOW as an important element of statement of work - a document describing the work to be completed over a specific period of time.
Screen Monitoring - The new age contact centers facilitate agent training and coaching by providing screen monitoring feature. The feature enables supervisors or managers to monitor agents' computer screens in real-time. The direct access to live interaction between customers and agents help managers to assess call quality and improve agent performance.
Screen Pop - The interactive voice response (IVR) and cloud telephony solutions these days come with screen pop feature. The feature displays relevant information about a customer or account on the agent's desktop automatically either in the form of a window or a dialog box. The agents take advantage of screen pop to personalize customer experience and increase sales conversion.
Screen Refresh - Screen refresh refers to the frequency of streaming content being updated or refreshed on a call center agent's display. Normally, the agent's display keeps changing at a gap of 5 to 15 seconds. The frequent screen updates help agents to access updated customer and account information.
Script - As written documents, scripts help call center agents to handle both incoming and outgoing calls more efficiently. While managing inbound calls, the agents can refer to the call scripts to present product information or resolve customer care issues effectively. Also, call scripts help outbound agents to open customer interaction with a purposeful introduction and keep leads engaged throughout the interaction.
Seasonality - Seasonality refers to the fluctuations in sales and business activity levels based on seasons. While scheduling call center operations, the managers focus extensively on seasonality to estimate future call volume and predict surge in call volume. However, seasonality differs according to the nature and type of individual businesses.
Segmentation - Segmentation refers to the practice of dividing a business's customer base into multiple groups of individual customers. The decision makers create customer segmentation based on a slew of factors - age, genders, preferences and buying habits. Segmentation helps call centers to deliver relevant customer service to a customer based on important factors like relationship and value.
Self-Service - The self-service options provided by interactive voice response (IVR) solutions enable customers to avail information about a product/service and resolve simple issues without talking to a live agent. Many customers these days leverage self-service options to avail customer service quickly and directly.
Service Bureau - Many businesses these days hire third-party companies or avail outsourced services to deliver customer support through multiple communication channels - telephone, emails, chat, text messages and social media. The term service bureau represents the company that manages customer service activities of another business.
Service Level - The service-based industries use service level as a metric to measure specific services based on predefined calls. The call centers use service level as a metric to assess the speed of answer. The managers determine service level based on the percentage of call answered within a specific period of time. They further calculate service level for individual agents, departments, or teams.
Service Level Agreement (SLA) - A service level agreement is a contact between the end user and the service providers. The SLA clearly depicts the quality level of services the end users expects from the provider. The call centers refer to the SLA as a key performance indicator to ensure that the clients and customers are receiving a certain standard of customer service.
Service Organization Controls (SOC) - As a suite of services, Service Organization Controls (SOC) helps businesses to earn trust of clients/customers by delivering services against what was promised. The managers carry out SOC reporting to provide stakeholder assurance, meet contractual obligations, manage enterprise-wide risk, and curtail compliance cost.
Service Quality - Service quality refers to the efforts a business must put to meet and exceed customer expectations consistently. The businesses need to focus on all important aspects of service quality to provide services that are better than the customer expectations. The contact centers use service quality as a metric to measure the quality of customer interaction across multiple communication channels - telephone, emails, text messages, chat and social media.
Short Message Service (SMS) - As a low cost messaging solution, short message service (SMS) or text messages facilitate exchange of short text messages between mobile devices. The mobile device users use short messaging service to communicate with other mobile device users directly and instantly. Many customers these days interact with businesses by sending SMS. While implementing omni-channel customer service strategy, decision makers focus extensively on SMS as a commonly used communication channel.
Shrinkage - The call centers use shrinkage as a metric to measure the amount of time for which the agents are being paid but not available to handle calls. The call center shrinkage may be caused due to a variety of factors - breaks, training, meeting, paid leave and off-phone activities. The managers calculate shrinkage as percentage to ensure that adequate agents are available to handle calls proactively.
Silent Monitoring - Silent monitoring refers to the process of managers/supervisors listening and evaluating ongoing interaction between a caller and an agent. While monitoring calls silently, the managers or supervisors do not make the agent and caller aware that the call is being monitored. The managers perform silent monitoring for both agent training and call quality assessment purposes.
Single Point of Failure (SPOF) - A single point of failure (SPOF) depicts a particular part of a system or process which stops the entire project or system from functioning. SPOF helps managers to identify the potential risks associated with flaws in contact center solution design, configuration, and implementation.
Six Sigma - Six Sigma refers to a set of data-driven management techniques and tools that help managers to improve quality of a process, product, or service by eliminating potential errors or defects. The call centers implement Six Sigma technique to assess performance and improve quality of customer service delivery process.
Skill-Based Routing - The interactive voice response (IVR) solutions and automatic call distributors use skill-based routing as a call assignment strategy to route incoming calls to the most competent and suitable agent. Skill based routing helps contact centers to ensure first call resolution by getting incoming calls handled by the most appropriate agents. The contact center solutions allow managers to enable skill-based call routing simply by defining rules for call assignment.
Skilling - It is the process of monitoring and checking the contact center queues for smooth functioning. It helps in redirecting agents to certain queues when the call center is facing a spike in the volume of calls/emails.
Skype - As a Microsoft software product, Skype enables users to make voice and video calls, exchange instant text messages, and send files over the internet. The users can use Skype to communicate with other users through both computers and mobile devices. Skype helps businesses to reduce internal and external communication cost by leveraging voice over internet protocol (VoIP).
Smooth Call Arrival - Smooth call arrival represents arrival of incoming calls in an even and smooth way over a period of time. The decision makers use smooth call arrival as a tool to analyze call volume and traffic.
SMS/800 Database - 800 Service Management System (SMS/800) is the centralized database of all available toll free numbers - 800, 888, 876 and 866 - in the United States and Canada. The toll free number service providers need to maintain and update SMS/800 to simplify the process of receiving and assigning toll free numbers for their subscribers.
Social Media Analytics - The social media analytics tools help businesses to take informed decision by analyzing customer data collected from popular social networking websites. Many businesses these days use social media analytics to take informed strategic decisions, make operational changes, and initiate marketing campaigns by examining data about social conversations.
Social Media Analytics Platform - The social media analytics platforms help businesses to collect data for social media conversation and process the social media data to facilitate informed decision making. Many businesses these days leverage social media analytics platforms to boost marketing campaigns and customer service activities by mining customer sentiment. A business also has the option to choose from a wide range of social media analytics platforms.
Social Media Customer Care - Social media customer care refers to the customer service delivered by businesses through popular social networking websites. While implementing omni-channel customer service strategy, decision makers need to focus on various social networking platforms as a popular communication channels. They even need to deploy dedicated agents to resolve customer care issues efficiently and proactively.
Social Media Dashboard - The contact centers use social media dashboard as a robust social media management tool. The dashboards enable users to coordinate social media presence and monitor social media activities across social media channels. The sophisticated social media dashboards even come with built-in social media analytics. The contact centers also have the option to choose from several social media dashboard software.
Social Media Engagement - The term social media engagement represents the cumulative total of likes, shares, clicks and comments of social media content posted by a business. Many contact centers these days focus on social media engagement to make customers mention their brands and interact with customer service representatives via popular social networking platforms.
Social Media Escalation Protocol - Many customers these days interact with businesses and avail customer service via social networking websites. The businesses deploy dedicated agents to respond to social media mentions and inquiries proactively. The agents refer to the social media escalation protocol complaints or issues posted by customers on various social networks.
Social Media for Business - Many businesses these days connect and communicate with customers on popular social networking platforms. While launching marketing campaigns and delivering customer service, the enterprises need to focus extensively on social media for business as a robust communication channel.
Social Media Listening - Social media listening or social media monitoring can be described as the process of identifying, tracking and assessing social media conversations around a product, brand, or business. Social media listening helps businesses to understand what customers are saying about a product or brand. Also, social media monitoring helps decision makers to understand customer expectations and emerging trends while planning marketing campaigns and customer service strategy.
Social Media Listening Tool - Social media listening tools are software applications designed with features to simplify social media monitoring. The features provided by social media listening tools help businesses to identify, track, and analyze digital conversation about products or brands. These tools further help businesses to take informed decisions while planning marketing campaigns and customer service strategy by analyzing large amounts of unstructured data. Each business has the option to choose from an array of social media listening tools.
Social Media Management - Social media management refers to the process of monitoring, measuring, and enhancing social media presence of a product, brand, or business. Many businesses these days deploy dedicated social media managers to listening and responding to social media conversations proactively. The businesses also automate social media management using various social media management tools.
Social Media Monitoring Software - These software applications are helping businesses to automate social media monitoring and management. The social media monitoring software comes with features to monitor online conversation about a business, brand, or product across a wide range of data sources - social networking websites, blogs, forums and news sites. The social media management features provided by the software help decision makers to run marketing campaigns and deliver customer service more efficiently.
Social Media Response Guidelines - The social media response guidelines help agents to understand when to respond and how to respond to social media conversations. The social media managers refer to the guidelines to decide how to respond to negative and positive comments by using the most appropriate message.
Social Media Response Protocol - The contact center agents refer to social media response protocol to understand the response options available for a specific type of social media conversation or social media mention. The protocol helps social media managers to respond to negative, positive, and erroneous brand mentions effectively.
Social Media Response Time - Social media response time refers to the amount of time an agent takes to respond to brand mentions and social media complaints. The average social media response time differs across social networking websites. But the customers these days expect businesses to reduce average social media time to 60 minutes.
Social Media Risk Management - Many businesses keep social media risk management process in place to identify and address potential social media risks proactively. They even implement social media risk management strategies to handle social media risks like damage to brand reputation, disclosure of confidential information and compliance violations.
Social Media ROI - Social media ROI refers to the return a business gets on social media investment. Many businesses measure social media ROI in terms of money. But businesses also measure ROI on social media investment based on metrics like sales increase, customer acquisition, customer retention, and customer satisfaction.
Social Media Tracking - Social media tracking refers to the process of processing or analyzing the information about a product, brand, or organization collected using social media channels. Many businesses leverage social media tracking tools to run marketing campaigns and deliver customer service based on real-time customer information collected from popular social networking websites.
Social Media Training - Social media training can be described as the process of enhancing social media skills of employees. Many businesses organize social media training programs to prepare employees to run marketing campaigns and deliver customer service by using relevant tools and adopting common best practices.
Social Network - A social network can be described as a dedicated website or specialized software application that allows users to connect and communicate with users sharing similar interests. The social networks enable users to communicate with other in a number of ways - sharing information, posting comments, sharing images, posting videos, and initiating voice/video chats. With people spending most of their digital media time on social networks, businesses need to focus on social media extensively while planning marketing campaigns and implementing customer service strategies.
Social Presence - The term social presence or social media presence depicts the activeness of a business or brand on various social networking platforms. With customers spending most of their digital media time on social networks, it becomes essential for businesses to maintain good social media presence. They even need to enhance their social media presence by implementing several tips and best practices.
Social Service Level - Social service level refers to a contract between a business and a social service provider defining the expected quality of social media activities. Many businesses use social service level as a tool to ensure that the social media complaints are addressed and resolved efficiently.
Software as a service (SaaS) - SaaS is a service provided on the cloud platform. It is the licensing and distribution of a software on subscription basis with access through the internet. Software as a service is centrally hosted and is a widely used service these days as it saves the cost and effort on infrastructure and gives the user flexibility to work from anywhere.
Span of control - There must be a balance in the number of agents in a call center and the number of supervisors looking after them. Span of control is the ratio of the number of agents to the number of supervisors handling them.
Speech Analytics - The speech recognition software used by interactive voice response (IVR) solutions use speech analytics to analyze live incoming calls or voice recordings. Speech analytics detect the stress and emotions in a caller's voice by identifying words and analyzing audio patterns. The call center solutions leverage the information extracted during customer interaction to deliver relevant customer service and personalize customer experience.
Speech Recognition - Speech recognition refers to the process of making a device or software program to understand and respond to spoken words. The new age call center solutions use speech recognition as a robust alternative to convention input submission methods like clicking, typing and selecting. Speech recognition enables the call center solutions to respond to voice commands by identifying the words and phrases in the speech and converting the information into machine-readable format.
Speed of Answer (SOA) - The contact centers use speed of answer (SOA) as a metric to measure the amount of time agents take to answer incoming calls within a specific time period. The managers calculate SOA based on the amount of time a caller waits to be connected to an agent. They also explore ways to reduce call abandonment rate and improve customer experience by reducing SOA.
Split - A split or skill work refers to routing incoming calls to a specific queue which is managed only by agents with specific skills. The approach requires managers to designate specific calls according to primary and secondary skills of agents. As a skill-based routing technique, split calls help contact centers to ensure first call resolution.
Staggered Schedules - Staggered schedules refer to a widely used call center scheduling technique that emphasizes on staggered start time. This scheduling technique requires managers to allow agents to take breaks at fixed intervals. For instance, the manager can allow an agent to take lunch break 4 hours after the start time and another break after 6 hours from the start time.
Stakeholder - The term stakeholder represents an individual or an organization that has interest or concern in a specific project, process, or business. For instance, the stakeholders in a call center can be clients, customers, managers, supervisors, and agents.
StellaService - StellaService is a privately held American company with expertise in measuring and rating customer service performance of online businesses. The company rates customer service performance by getting the customer service process of businesses audited by the global accounting and auditing firm KPMG. StellaService measures customer service performance using two distinct metrics - Stella Metrics and Stella Connect.
Strategic Value - The term strategic value represents the additional value a customer derives from a business or product. The businesses determine strategic value of individual brands or products by collecting and analyzing customer feedback.
Supervisor - In call centers, the supervisors oversee or supervise a group of agent while they are handling calls and interacting with customers. The supervisors are responsible for monitoring the activities of both individual agents and agent groups by spending time on the call floor. They even assist agents in handling unusual customer requests and dealing with unhappy customers.back to top
Talk Time - The term talk time refers to the amount of time a contact center agent spends on talking to a caller during a transaction. It can also be described as the time gap between the agent answering and disconnecting the call. The managers measure and express talk time in terms of average minutes.
Tech Support (Technical Support/Help Desk) - Technical support or tech support includes a wide range of services provided by businesses to customers to solve technical problems related to electronic devices like computers, mobile devices, printers, software, and networking solutions. The companied dealing in electronic devices and technology-driven products deploy tech support team to troubleshoot the problems faced by end users.
Telecommuting - Telecommuting or e-commuting refers to a work arrangement that encourages employees to perform their work duties. by interacting with the employer using telephone systems or computers. Telecommunicating enables businesses to work with remote employees. Many enterprises these days leverage telecommuting to work with work-from-home and offshore agents.
Teleconferencing - Teleconferencing refers to hold discussion between multiple participants using telecommunication devices. Teleconferencing help businesses to facilitate communicate and collaborate between onsite and offsite employees. The teleconferencing solutions further enable employees to interact with clients and teammates regardless of their geographic location.
Telemarketing - As a method of direct marketing, telemarketing or telesales facilitate marketing of products or services through telephone sales. Many businesses these days set up outbound contact centers to streamline telemarketing efforts. They even invest in sophisticated auto dialer solutions to enable salespersons to handle more outbound calls and solicit more existing and potential customers.
Telephone Service Factor (TSF) - The contact centers use telephone service factor (TSF) as a metric to measure the number of calls answered by agents during a given amount of time. The managers express TSF in terms of percentage of incoming calls answered in specific seconds. TSF is also used widely by contact centers to measure the level of service provided by agents.
Telephony Applications Programming Interface (TAPI) - As a set of standard program interfaces, Telephony Applications Programming Interface (TAPI) is an interface that enable users to talk to others over telephones and video phones using their computers. At present, TAPI is commonly used as the standard interface for building telephone solutions and accessing telephony services.
Telephony Services Application Programming Interface (TSAPI) - As a computer telephony integration standard, Telephony Services Application Programming Interface (TSAPI) consists of an array of call control commands for voice mail, call logging, and call switching. The developers take advantage of TSAPI to write telephony and computer telephony integration (CTI) applications without putting extra time and effort.
Text - In contact centers, text refers to text messages or short messaging service (SMS). Many customers these days interact with businesses by sending text messages from their mobile devices. The contact center managers need to focus extensively on text as a new age customer service delivery channel to boost omnichannel customer experience.
Threshold - The term threshold can be defined as a predetermined time threshold. The call centers use threshold as the key criterion to decide the amount of time an incoming call should remain in the queue till being answered by an agent. The managers also use threshold as a tool to calculate call center service level. They measure service level based on the percentage of incoming calls answered within the predetermined time threshold.
3PL (Third-party logistics) - In logistics and supply chain management, third-party logistics (3PL/TPL) refers to outsourced logistics services. Many businesses avail 3PL to outsource specific elements of warehousing, distribution, and fulfilment activities. The services provided by 3PL companies even help ecommerce businesses to simplify and streamline procurement and distribution activities.
Ticketing System - A ticketing system can be described as software which comes with features to document or record customer interactions or specific problems. The contact centers use ticketing systems to track, resolve, and escalate a variety of customer complaints and issues by creating tickets. The agents can further refer to the tickets to provide better and more relevant assistance to customers during subsequent interactions. Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems these days come with built-in ticketing systems.
Tie Line - Connections for Automatic Call Distributors or Private Branch exchanges are not available everywhere. Tie line is a transmission line used to connect these in wide areas where connections are not available or where connections cannot easily sustain.
Time Series Approach - As a widely used forecasting method, time series approach emphasizes on estimating future aspects of a business or process based on a sequence of numeric data points. The forecasting technique estimates future sales or operations by tracking movement of both historical and current data. The contact centers use time series approach to streamline workforce management based on seasonal factors and trend patterns.
Tokenization - Tokenization refers to process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols. The businesses implement tokenization to keep sensitive business and corporate data secure while keeping their essential information intact. The security tools supporting tokenization replace sensitive data by generating tokens algorithmically.
Toll Free Number (TFN) - The term toll free refers to the telephone numbers that enable customers to call a business directly without incurring any call charges. Many businesses use toll free numbers as a powerful tool to deliver customer service and facilitate long-distance telecommunication. The sophisticated toll free number services even enable businesses to avail useful features like call recording, call analytics reports and CRM integration. The businesses have the option to choose from an array of toll free codes – 800, 877, 888, 844, 855 and 866.
Total Delay - The term total delay represents the sum of all delays in answering incoming calls. The managers divide total delay for all incoming calls by the total number of calls that waited in the virtual queue to calculate important call center metrics like average delay of delayed calls.
Total Handle Time - The call centers use total handle time as a key performance indicator (KPI) to measure the length of an interaction between a caller and an agent. The managers calculate total handle time by adding talk time, hold time and after-call work time. They even determine average handle time by dividing total handle time by the total number of calls.
Touchpoint - Touchpoints are the various points used to connect or leave an impression on the customer. Touchpoints can be advertisements, the product itself, emails etc. These touchpoints are responsible for the interactions with the organization and in turn help in creating a positive customer experience.
Traffic Engineering - Traffic engineering or traffic management refers to the process of optimizing performance of telecommunication networks. The traffic engineers optimize telecommunication network performance by analyzing, predicting, and regulating the behaviour of data and calls transmitted over the telecommunication network.
Traffic Study - A traffic study helps contact centers to assess the level of incoming and outgoing calls handled by them currently. The traffic experts help contact centers to mange inbound and outbound calls more efficiently by optimizing configuration of telecommunication systems.
Training Delivery - The contact center managers focus extensively on training delivery to make the agents deliver exceptional customer service. The managers have the option to choose from a variety of training delivery options - classroom-based training, self-learning and online training.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) - As a set of communication protocols, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) governs communication between computers over the internet. TCP/IP governs how a computer will package, send, receive, and deliver information to other computers over the internet or intranet.
Trend Rate - Trend rate refers to fluctuations in the average rate of growth over a given period of time. The decision makers calculate and consider trend rate while forecasting business activities. Trend rate even help managers to identify the patterns in the increase and decline of growth. Many managers represent fluctuations in trend rates visually by plotting numerical data on a graph.
True Calls per Hour - The contact centers use true calls per hour as a key metric to measure the number of calls an agent or agent group handles per hour over a given period of time. The managers calculate true calls per hour by dividing the total number of calls handled by agents/groups by agent occupancy for the specific period of time.
Trunk - In contact centers, the term trunk represents trunk lines that connect private branch exchange (PBX) to the telecommunication service provider. The call centers use trunk as a single communication channel between the caller and the agent. The call centers even have the option to facilitate communication using either TDM trunk or SIP trunk.
Trunk Group - The contact centers facilitate interaction between callers and agents using trunk lines provided by the telecommunication service providers. The term trunk group refers to multiple trunk lines provided by the telephony service provider.
Trunk Hold Time - The contact centers use trunk hold time as a metric to measure the amount of time a trunk line takes to process a particular call. The managers calculate trunk hold time as the time gap between the first ring and the call being disconnected.
Tumblr - Tumblr is a hugely popular microblogging and social media tool. Millions of people use Tumblr to post textual and multimedia content in the form of micro blogs. The bloggers even have the option to keep their microblogs private and customize the web pages.
Turnover - The term turnover or attrition rate refers to the rate at which agents leave the call centers and are replaced by new agents. The contact centers explore ways to reduce turnover to maintain customer service quality and level. Many contact centers reduce turnover by boosting agent efficiency and satisfaction. But high agent turnover often make call centers deal with staffing problems.
Tweet - The popular social networking platform Twitter requires users to communicate with their followers by posting updates called tweets. The users need to restrict the character limit of a tweet to 280. They also have the option to reply to and share tweets posted by other users.
Twitter - Twitter is a hugely popular social networking service that allows users to interact with their followers by posting or sharing short messages known as tweets. The users need to restrict every tweet to 280 characters. Many businesses these days use Twitter as a robust communication channel to promote products/brands and deliver customer service.
Twitter Complaint - Many businesses these days deliver customer support through popular social networking platforms like Twitter. Many customers these days highlight issues or express dissatisfaction by posting tweets known a Twitter complaints. The businesses need to respond to Twitter complaints in an efficient and timely way to boost customer experience.
Twitter Direct Message (DM, @Reply) - While using the popular social networking service Twitter, the users can interact with their followers by sending private messages known as Twitter direct messages. A user can send Twitter direct message only to the users who are following him/her on Twitter.
Twitter Follower/Following - Twitter followers refer to the people who follow somebody on the popular social networking service. Whenever a person updates tweets, the tweets appear automatically on the home feed of his/her followers. However, Twitter does not require users to follow their followers.
Twitter Retweet (RT, @Reply) - The term retweet refers to the tweets shared by a user with his or her followers on Twitter. Many users retweet to share important information with their followers. Twitter differentiates retweets by adding "RT" as a prefix before the original tweet. A user has the option to retweet his/her tweets and retweet tweets posted by other users.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance - TCPA compliance is an act passed by the United States Congress in 1991. It regulates telemarketing calls, auto-dialed calls, prerecorded calls, text messages, and unsolicited faxes. The fundamental purpose of the TCPA compliance was to monitor the calls made for marketing or sales purposes and prevent businesses from calling people in an unregulated manner.back to top
Unavailable Time - The term unavailable time refers to the time when a call center agent is not available to handle calls. A call center agent may not be available to handle calls due to a number of reasons - breaks, training programs and administrative tasks. All these reasons are considered as components of unavailable time.
Unified Commerce - Unified ecommerce refers to a single and centralized commerce platform for a variety of customer engagement points. While implementing a unified commerce strategy, the managers need to focus on an array of components - products, channels, systems and interactions. The new age retail software systems facilitate unified commerce by integrating inventory and customer data across in-store, web store, and mobile application.
Uniform Call Distributor (UCD) - A uniform call distributor is auto dialer software that routes incoming calls to a group of call center agents evenly. The feature makes it easier for contact centers to handle surge in call volume by getting incoming calls answered by any agent in the group. But managers must train agents adequately to ensure first call resolution and maintain customer experience.
Universal Agent - The term universal agent refers to the call center agent who has the skill and expertise in handle customers efficiently across multiple communication channels - telephone, emails, text messages, chat and social media. Many contact centers these days deploy universal agents to resolve customer issues and complaints timely and efficiently regardless of the communication channel.
Up-selling/Upselling - Up-selling or upselling refers to the sales technique that salespeople use to persuade buyers to spend more money by purchasing a premium or more expensive version of the product selected by them. Many salespeople even persuade customers to spend more by purchasing add-ons for the products being purchased by them.
Username - A username refers to the digital identification used by an individual while accessing a computer, software, or web-based service. A user needs to create a username as a prerequisite to access a device or software. But he/she needs to ensure that username is unique to distinguish him/her from other users.
Utterance - The term utterance represents a spoken word/statement or vocal sound. The contact center solutions assign scores to individual call by measuring the agent's utterance based on predefined scoring metrics. They further measure overall emotion of the call based on the positive and negative utterances in the specific call.back to top
Variance-to-Mean Ratio (VMR) - Variance-to-mean ratio or index of dispersion depicts dispersion of a probability distribution. The decision makers use VMR as a metric to check if an array of observed occurrences are clustered or dispersed in comparison to a standard statistical model. VMR helps call center managers to check if traffic arrival is peak, smooth, or random.
Vicidial - VICIdial is an open-source software popular all over the world. It is free to use and distribute and provides solutions like predictive auto-dialing, inbound call routing, reporting and chat, email communication and other solutions for different call center functionalities. It is available in over 16 languages which makes it a popular choice among call center owners.
Video Calls - A video call can be defined as a telephone call that facilitates visual communication between multiple people over the internet using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The mobile devices enable users to communicate with their contacts by initiating video calls. The users even have the option to choose from a set of popular video calling apps.
Videoconferencing - A video conference or video conferencing refers to a conference conducted between multiple participants in a virtual environment. Most businesses use videoconferencing as a tool to facilitate communication and coordination between employees working from different locations. The videoconferencing application enable participants to share images, documents, and presentation materials while carrying on visual communication.
Viral - The term viral these days represent a post, image, video or advertisement which is circulated over the internet widely and rapidly. The users normally distinguish the digital content by adding the term going viral.
Virtual Agents - The term virtual agent refers to computer generated characters that act as online customer service representatives. The artificial intelligence (AI) technologies enable businesses to deploy virtual agent or chatbots that initiate and sustain conversation with customers in their natural languages. Many businesses these days deploy virtual agents to automate customer service delivery and reduce incoming call volume.
Virtual Call Center - A virtual call center refers to a call center that operates with agents working from various locations. Many businesses these days set up virtual call centers to reduce operating cost by replacing staff agent with remote and work-from-home agents. The cloud-based contact center solutions help businesses to set up and run virtual call centers without incurring extra upfront and ongoing expenditure.
Virtual Number - Virtual numbers are phone numbers that are not directly associated with a telephone line. They are also known as Direct Inward Dialing (DID) or access number. They function by forwarding the incoming calls to one of the pre-set telephone number chosen by the client. We can think of them as a gateway or a bridge between traditional calls (PSTN- Public Switched Telephone Network) and the VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
Visible Queue - The visible queue in a call center informs the callers about the expected wait time by making an automated announcement. The information makes it easier for the callers to choose the right option - wait till the call is answered by an agent, abandon the call, or request a call back. Unlike invisible queue, visible queue helps contact centers to boost customer engagement.
Voice Authentication - The term voice authentication refers to a security authentication technique that establishes identity of a user based on his/her voice. Many software solutions these days enable voice authorization by recognizing users based on their voice patterns. The option enables users to access a software or system by using their voice as passwords.
Voice Broadcasting - Voice Broadcasting is a mass communication technique used to deliver a telephone message to hundreds of thousands of customers at once. It has both commercial and social applications. Businesses use this for sending a voice message to their target which can be their customers, employees or subscribers.
Voice of the Customer (VOC) - The businesses use voice of the customer (VOC) as a process to capture and understand customers' preferences, expectations, and aversions. While conducting VOC studies, the businesses collect customer feedback and analyze the feedback to understand customers' needs, preferences, and expectations. The contact centers also perform VOC studies by monitoring live calls and listening to call recordings.
Voice Processing - The term voice processing or speech processing refers to the process of capturing and analyzing human speech using specialized methods and technologies. The contact center solutions leverage voice processing technologies to respond to human speech more efficiently and accurately.
Voice Recognition System - The term voice recognition system represents a computing device or software program that has the capability to decode and recognize human voice. The voice recognition systems enable users to perform a variety of tasks without using a keyboard or mouse. They even enable users to accomplish various tasks simply by giving specific voice commands.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) - As a group of communication technologies, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or internet telephony enables users to make voice calls over the internet without relying on a regular phone line. Both computers and mobile devices these days enable users to initiate voice calls and share multimedia content using VoIP. Also, VoIP technologies enable businesses to boost call center operations by leveraging cloud technologies.
Voice Response Unit (VRU) - As an automated telephone call answering system, a voice response unit (VRU) consists of both hardware and software. The businesses use VRUs to enable customers to collect specific information or resolve simple complaints by choosing from a set of pre-recorded self-service options. The VRUs further deliver customer self-service by supporting both voice recognition and telephone touchtone. Many businesses these days use VRUs to automate customer service delivery and reduce incoming call volume.
Voice Platform - Voice platform refers to the software platforms that come with features to facilitate development of custom voice applications for various enterprises and service providers. The businesses even have the option to build custom VoIP solutions by leveraging cloud voice platforms. The cloud voice platforms enable users to access Voice Infrastructure as a Service (VIaaS).
Voice User Interface (VUI) - The term voice user interface (VUI) refers to the user interfaces (UIs) that enable users to operate and control computing devices with voice input. The new age computers and mobile devices feature VUI enhance voice experience and enable users to perform many tasks by giving voice commands.
Voice XML/VXML - As an application of Extensible Markup Language (XML), Voice XML/VXML specifies rules for voice interaction between humans and machines. The developers use VXML as a digital document standard while developing audio and voice response applications for various enterprises and service providers. VXML helps businesses to build automated customer service portals.back to top
Warm Transfer - As a telecommunication mechanism, call transfer enables the call center agent to avail additional assistance by transferring the incoming call to another agent, supervisor, or ring group. The agent needs to explain the customer issue and provide background information to the ring group or agent before initiating warm transfer. The warm transfer feature provided by new age call center solutions enable both agents to interact with the caller simultaneously.
Webchat (Chat) - The term webchat or web chat refers to a web-based interface that enables users to exchange messages in real-time. The web-based interface does not require users to install the chatting solution on their devices. Many businesses these days use webchat as a customer service delivery. They embed webchat option in their websites to communicate with customers in real time.
Web Click-to-Talk (CTT) - Web Click-to-Talk (CTT) refers to the click-to-call or click-to-dial option provided by websites. The CTT feature enables websites visitors to request an instant call back or schedule call back by clicking on a link, button, or image. Many businesses these days implement CTT in their websites to reduce surge in incoming call volume.
Web Forms - A web form or HTML form is a digitized version of paper document or form. The businesses embed web forms in their websites to collect user input. The web forms collect information from users and transfer the data to a server for processing. The businesses customize web forms according to the type of user information.
Wholesale VoIP - Wholesale VoIP can be considered as an integral part of the international communications sector. It is a service provided by wholesale carriers to help other service providers or businesses with their calling process. Wholesale VoIP or VoIP wholesale is assisting in getting a VoIP termination in this world of the competitive wholesale price.
Wide Area Network (WAN) - As a telecommunication network, wide area network (WAN) extends over a large geographic area. The network engineers build WAN by connecting multiple local area networks (LANs) and metro area networks (MANs). The computers connected to a WAN normally exchange information via public networks and telephone systems.
Workflow Management - Workflow management refers to the process of designing, executing, and monitoring organizational workflow. Most organizations these days use workflow management software to automate and streamline workflow management. The software helps managers to create and modify various tasks in the system using a workflow engine.
Workforce Management (WFM) - As a set of activities, workforce management (WFM) helps businesses to optimize productivity of employees. WFM emphasizes on forecasting labor requirements accurately and manage staff schedule efficiently to accomplish specific tasks based on hourly or daily basis. The contact centers use WFM software to optimize performance of agents who are paid on an hourly basis.
Workforce Management System - Workforce management system refers to the desktop applications and mobile apps that help organizations to forecast labor requirements and manage staff schedules. The contact centers use workforce management systems to manage a large number of agents efficiently and improve their performance consistently.
Workforce Optimization - As a strategy, workforce optimization helps businesses to boost operational efficiency and improve customer experience by integrating contact center technologies. While implementing workforce optimization strategies, call center managers use a set of metrics including operational costs and workforce management to resolve various problems related to employees.
Workforce Planner - As a human resource management technology, workforce planning helps contact centers to anticipate staff requirement accurately and deploy agents efficiently. Workforce planner refers to the employee who implements and monitors workforce planning strategy. The workforce planner is responsible for estimating workload and creating agent schedules.
Workload - Workload refers to the amount of work to be done by individual employees. The workload of a call center agent includes conversation time, wait time, hold time and after-call work time. Workload helps mangers to decide call center agent requirements and plan call center infrastructure.
Wrap-Up Codes - The call center agents manage a variety of calls on daily basis. They use wrap-up codes or call codes as a tool to differentiate various interactions. A wrap-up code summarises customer interaction and convey relevant information about the interactions. The call center solutions enable agents to choose from a set of predefined wrap-up codes from a dropdown list.
Wrap-Up Time - Wrap-up time can be defined as post-call time. The term refers to the amount of time an agent spends on completing after call work once the call is over. Wrap-up time does not include conversation time, breaks or meetings.back to top
Yahoo - Yahoo is a hugely popular internet portal that is designed with a built-in search engine. Yahoo also creates an online directory of websites organized in relevant categories. The services and information provided by Yahoo help both individuals and businesses to facilitate communication and decision making.
Yellow Pages (YP) - As a leading local marketing service provider, Yellow Pages aim to facilitate growth of local businesses and communities. It allows users to gather information about local businesses using YP.com and YP mobile apps. Millions of users rely on YP to connect with local professionals and service providers according to their specific location.
Yelp - Yelp is a hugely popular social networking platform and review website. Unlike other social networking platforms, Yelp allows users to review and rate local businesses. Many people these days use Yelp as a local search service to gather information about local businesses providing specific products or services.back to top