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Call Center Terms: Glossary

This glossary contains terms commonly used when discussing call center operations.

abandoned call - An abandoned call is a call or other type of contact initiated to a call center that is ended before any conversation occurs.

automatic callback - Automatic callback is a telephone system feature that permits a caller who gets a busy signal to instruct the system to establish the connection when the line becomes available.

average handle time - Average handle time (AHT) is a call center metric for the average duration of one transaction, typically measured from the customer's initiation of the call and including any hold time, talk time and related tasks that follow the transaction.

blended agent - A blended agent, in a call center or contact center context, is an agent who manages both incoming and outgoing calls and applications as needed.

call center - A call center is a physical place where customer and other telephone calls are handled by an organization, usually with some amount of computer automation.

call center agent - A call center agent is the person who handles incoming or outgoing customer calls for a business.

call center schedule adherence - Call center schedule adherence is a common metric used in the call center to determine whether or not call center agents are working the amount of time they are scheduled to work.

call center shrinkage - Call center shrinkage is a measure of how much time is lost in the call center to things like vacation, breaks, lunch, holidays, sick time, training and so on.

call logging - Call logging (also known as call recording or call monitoring) is the practice of listening to, recording and assessing interactions between call center agents and callers.

callback messaging - Callback messaging, in a call center context, is a service that allows callers to leave a message (usually personal contact information, either spoken or through the number pad) so that an agent can call them back and they retain their place in the queue.

chief customer officer - A chief customer officer, or customer experience officer, is generally responsible for customer research, communicating with company employees and taking charge of customer experience metrics.

collaborative browsing - Collaborative browsing (also known as co-browsing) is a software-enabled technique that allows someone in an enterprise contact center to interact with a customer by using the customer's Web browser to show them something.

cross-media queuing - Cross-media queuing is a call center technology that enables all incoming queries to be received and routed in the same way, whether a query comes in the form of a phone call, e-mail message, instant message, Web site submission, fax or interactive voice response (IVR) message.

fast clear down - A fast clear down is a call center term for a caller who hangs up upon hearing a delay notice.

first call resolution -  First call resolution is properly addressing the customer's need the first time they call, thereby eliminating the need for the customer to follow up with a second call.

incremental value analysis - Incremental Revenue (Value) Analysis is a process used to calculate the value of each agent in a call center.

issue tracking system - An issue tracking system (ITS) is a software application that allows an enterprise to record and follow the progress of every problem or "issue" that a computer system user identifies until the problem is resolved.

LDQ - Longest delay in queue (LDQ) is the longest time period that a customer in a queue waits before either connecting with an agent or hanging up (which is known as a fast clear down).

outbound call - An outbound call is one initiated from a call center agent to a customer on behalf of the call center or a client.

predictive dialer - A predictive dialer is a telephone control system that automatically calls a list of telephone numbers in sequence, screening out no-answers, busy signals, answering machines and disconnected numbers while predicting at what point a human caller will be able to handle the next call.

screen pop - A screen pop is a feature of a computer telephony integration (CTI) application that automatically displays all of the relevant caller and account information on a call center agent's screen during a call.

skill-based routing - Skill-based routing (SBR) is a component of automatic call distributor (ACD) systems that filters and directs incoming inquiries to call center agents with the most applicable skill sets.

virtual agent - a virtual agent (sometimes called an intelligent virtual agent, virtual rep or v-rep) is a chatterbot program that serves as an online customer service representative for an organization.

Web self-service - Web self-service is a type of electronic support (e-support) that allows customers and employees to access information and perform routine tasks over the Internet, without requiring any interaction with a representative of an enterprise.

 

This was last updated in May 2008

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