Many in the call center industry use certain abbreviations whose meaning is not known by industry outsiders. So, we at emailnphonelist.com decided to dedicate a page solely to address those jargons and acronyms which are used on a daily basis in the call centers. This jargon list would help you understand any abbreviation or acryonym used in the industry. Moreover, you would find our page to include not only the telemarketing terms but also their explanations. What’s more, the explanations have been prepared in a way that even a layman would understand.
So, let’s begin…
An abandoned call or contact is a call where the caller has cut the call before the agent even had the time to answer it in an inbound scenario. In the case of outbound calls, an abandoned call occurs where a dialer disconnects a live call when there are no agents available to pick up the call.
ACW (After Call Work)
After Call Work or ACW is the wrapping up of particular work when a transaction with the customer resulted in success. This work includes an update of CRMs, placing an outbound contact, filling activity codes etc.
Agent (Customer Service Representative)
An Agent, also known as Customer Service Representative is a person who answers to customer queries and problems on the behalf of the organization. And their job is to make and receive calls, respond to emails, chatting via live chat or social media etc.
Agent status is the current work status of the customer care representative. It describes whether the agent is busy on a call, idle, available, unavailable etc.
ACD (Automatic Call Distributor)
Automatic Call Distributor or ACD is platform software which is specially designed to handle numerous incoming calls. The software also has the ability to queue calls if an agent is unavailable to take calls. It is also used to distribute calls among call center agents.
ANI (Automatic Number Identification)
Automatic Number Identification or ANI is a calling line identity feature which displays information about the person calling for billing purposes.
ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition)
Automatic Speech Recognition, also known as ASR is a solution that allows a caller to interact with the call centre in their native tongue. That too, without the help of any call agent. It is similar to IVR.
AHT (Average Handling Time)
Average Handling Time, known as AHT is the time taken by a customer representative when he or she is occupied with an incoming contact.
ATT (Average Talk Time)
Average Talk Time is the measure of time an agent takes to speak to a customer. Although, it doesn’t include the time a customer puts the agent on hold or the time an agent spends doing some other work.
A Blended Agent is someone who is equipped to handle both the inbound and outbound calls along with the related telemarketing applications.
BUQS (Blended Universal Queue System)
Blended Universal Queue System or BUQS is essentially a combination of email, chat or any other enabled universal queuing of customers with a combination of call blending.
A blocked call is a condition where the call made to a customer cannot be completed because of the line being busy or the phone number is flagged.
Call Avoidance (to minimise Call Volumes)
Call Avoidance is a dynamic strategy which is executed to minimise the inbound call volumes to the call centers.
Call Blending is a time-saving approach to handle the demand for outbound and inbound calls. This works effectively in the way that if an agent is handling outbound calls for the moment, he/she won’t receive any inbound calls for the time being. Similarly, if an agent is handling inbound calls, he/she won’t be given any outbound calls.
Call Centre Schedule Adherence
Call Centre Schedule Adherence is used to measure the working hours of a call centre employee, and whether he/she is working the required hours.
Call Handling Analysis (of an Agent’s Activity)
Call Handling Analysis is a significant strategy to measure the effectiveness and quality of the handling of calls by a customer service representative.
A Call Log is a type of database handled by the call centres. It inputs logs of every call received from customers and every call made to customers.
Call Recording (for the Log)
Call Recording is a technology used by the call centers which enables them to record the interaction between a call centre agent and a customer. However, the call center agent must inform the customer before recording a call.
Call Routing (for reaching the right Agent)
Call Routing is a procedure to ensure that every call is routed or transferred to the right agent having the right amount of skills for handling the call. The procedure is mostly used to transfer calls of a high-end customer to a shorted queue. it is done via IVR.
Contact Centre (Customer Interaction Centre)
A Customer Interaction Centre or Contact Centre is the heart of the call centre where all the customer contacts are supervised. The difference between a call centre and a contact centre is that a call centre’s primary focus is voice whereas a contact centre can be voice, chat, email, instant message etc.
CTI (Computer Telephony Integration)
Computer Telephony Integration, also known as CTI is a software that connects the computer system of a call centre to the phone system of a call centre agent integrating with the dialer or ACD. The software helps the customer representative to get all the required information about the customer while he/she is on the call with them.
Cross Selling is a process of selling new and additional products and services to existing consumers. It can be used for sales promotion with the help of attractive offers.
CEM (Customer Experience Management)
Customer Experience Management or CEM is a process to follow the interactions between a customer and the call centre representatives.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Customer Relationship Management, also known as CRM is an application that helps identify the needs of a consumer, improve interactions with the customers, customize contacts, sales approaches, and other such improvements. The CRM is also an in-built feature of the dialer.
Database (of the Call Centre)
A call centre database is a collection of customer information which is organized, managed and structured in an A to Z fashion for easy and quick access to crucial information.
DMS (Document Management System)
A Document Management System or DMS is a system which is used to track, store, and manage documents electronically. That is, previously call centres used to store information on papers, now with this system, it can be stored in the cloud.
A dialer is a software program used by numerous call centres which make the process of calling external phone numbers automatic. That is if you want to call a customer who lives outside the country, the dialer makes it easier to connect to them.
DNC (Do Not Call)
The National Do Not Call registry is a database maintained by the United States of America’s federal government. The database lists the telephone numbers of people who have requested the telemarketers not to contact them.
DNIS (Dialled Number Identification Service)
Dialled Number Identification Service or DNIS is a service for telecommunications that corporations use to identify which number was dialled by the customer to reach them. This service is essential for companies that have different numbers for different departments.
EWT (Expected Wait Time)
Expected Wait Time or EWT refers to the expected amount of time that customers are made to wait before they are able to speak to a customer representative. It is a great way to measure the average expected time.
FCR (First Call Resolution)
First Call Resolution is a very essential call centre metric. It focuses on resolving a consumer’s query and issue on the first contact itself. It measures the quality of service that the customers are availing by the count of the number of times their issues got resolved on the first contact. The FCR is very crucial to every call centre because it determines whether or not the customer will come back.
Home Agent (who works from Home)
A Home Agent or a Remote Agent is a call centre representative who works from home or any other place than the actual work location.
ICR (Intelligent Call Router)
Intelligent Call Router or ICR is a telecommunications service network which provides information about queuing of calls and the availability of a call centre representative throughout the network of the call centre. It performs the same way as a switchboard operator.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
Integrated Services Digital Network or ISDN is a set of standards followed by telecommunications networks which multiple types of communication services have to follow. These services include video calls, voice calls, transmission of fax etc.
IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
Interactive Voice Response or IVR, also known as the Voice Response Unit is an innovative technology that lets the customer choose from a menu of choices by an electronic voice. The customer is asked to choose by pressing appropriate keys in the keypad or by speech recognition. It is useful in relaying the call to the most appropriate customer representative.
KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
Key Performance Indicators or KPI is a measurement unit utilized by the call centres to know the productivity and performance of individual call centre agents.
Next Available Agent
Next Available Agent is a technique of call distribution. In it, the first customer in the queue is sent to the first available agent. And if there is no queue, then the call is relayed to the customer representative who has been idle for the longest amount of time.
Nuisance Calls are any unsolicited or unwanted calls to the call centre by pranksters and spammers. These include prank calls and crank calls.
Outbound & Inbound Calls
Outbound Calls are those calls that are initiated by the call centre representative to the customer. Whereas Inbound Calls are calls which a customer representative receives and answers from a consumer.
The preview dialer chooses a telephone number from a selection of numbers in the call list and forwards them to the call centre agent. The agent then decides whether to call this call record or not. Based on the agent’s choice, he/she talks to the customer or disconnects if there is no response, busy signal or any other problem.
The progressive dialer is similar to the preview dialer. However, the main difference lies in the fact that the software decides when to call the customer, instead of the customer representative.
A predictive dialer is a software composed of a predictive algorithm which forecasts when a particular call centre will be available and calls are made automatically based on the prediction.
Power Dialer calls a list of telephone numbers one after the other when a customer representative is available to handle them. This software gives more control and often result in better telecommunication by bypassing busy numbers and dropped calls.
PSTN (Public Switched Network)
A Public Switched Network or PSTN is a system of a wired phone over which calls from telephones are made. The PSTN consists of an assortment of individual telephones which are hardwired to a public exchange.
A Queue in a call centre is the waiting time of delayed calls. A queue keeps a call until a customer representative becomes available.
Response Time is the amount of time taken to respond to a customer’s call by a call centre agent.
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
Session Initiation Protocol or SIP is a protocol for telecommunications that takes care of the controlling and signalling of multimedia communicated sessions such as video and voice calls.
SLA (Service Level Agreement)
Service Level Agreement is a sort of contract between a service provider and its customer. The agreement states what services the service provider will provide and what performance standard the service provider has to meet.
Silent Monitoring is a procedure which makes it possible for the supervisor to listen to both sides of conversation which is taking place between a customer and the call centre agent. It is basically used to determine the needs for any training or improvement of performance on the part of the agent. It is silent, which means not one of them is aware that the supervisor is listening.
SBR (Skill-Based Routing)
Skill-Based Routing is a process where a customer’s call is relayed to a customer representative who has the necessary skills, instead to routing it to the first available agent.
Speech Recognition is a revolutionary technology which uses a voice processing system to identify and translate human voice signals into digital computer signals. These signals are something a computer system understands. There are two types of speech recognition. The first one is Syllable Recognition which is the most basic of recognition. The other is Continuous Speech Recognition which is the most advanced.
Talk Time is the amount of time elapsed from when a customer representative answers a customer’s call to the time he/she disconnects the call.
Universal Agent is a type of call centre agent who has the capability of handling multiple types of customers.
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP is a software technology that makes telephone services to be delivered over the internet possible. It uses digital data packets to transfer voice information through the internet.
Virtual Call Centre
Virtual Call Centre is a call centre whose customer service representatives work remotely. Instead of working from the main business office, these agents work separately from different locations or even from home (see Home Agent) as one. Its as if all the resources were located at a single spot.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Virtual Private Network or VPN is a network which is private and has been built over a public infrastructure. Mechanisms for Security such as encryptions help users to securely access VPN from different locations via the Internet.
WFM (Workforce Management)
WorkForce Management or WFM is a set of integrated procedures which allows supervisors to have the right number of call centre agents answer a specific volume of calls which upholds the standard set by the call centre.
WFO (Workforce Optimization)
WorkForce Optimization, also known as WFO is a set of integrated processes used by call centres to maximise the productivity of its customer representatives on various levels. WFO makes it possible to reduce operational cost and optimize customer satisfaction.