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Call Center Terms
May 8, 2022

50 Most Important Call Center Terms and What They Mean

ANI, predictability, tickets, erlangs, API – in the process of work, you can come across a lot of incomprehensible terms. What do they mean – we understand this telephony dictionary article with 50 of the most important definitions!  

ANI, predictability, tickets, erlangs, API – in the process of work, you can come across a lot of incomprehensible terms. What do they mean – we understand this telephony dictionary article with 50 of the most important definitions!

Glossary of terms in telephony

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is a protocol for providing telephone number information to the telephone system (ACD). ANI essentially works like a caller ID.

An Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is a telephony system that manages incoming calls and routes them to the appropriate agent based on a predefined distribution scenario.

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is a function of recognizing phrases and words in a specific language and then converting them into a format that a computer can understand. ASR allows people to “talk” to computers.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of operations and responsibilities within a specific business process. Tasks are transferred to a third-party service provider to optimize internal operational costs associated with personnel, technology, knowledge base, and so on. The main advantage of BPO is greater flexibility and cost and time efficiency optimization.

Customer database – a list of existing or potential customer records. Typically contains contact information, personal and demographic information, purchase history, and other information that the business may use to target or interact with customers.

Big data is large volume data that can be analyzed to understand behavior, relationships, and trends. 

“Auxiliary” time (AUX), which is also unavailable for work time, is the time during which the operator is not available in the call center system or cannot receive new calls because he is at lunch, break, and so on. This is all the time during the working day that the agent does not spend directly handling calls.

Closing a call is a script for ending a conversation between a client and an agent. Usually includes gratitude and asking if there is anything else you can do to help.

Agent busy – the percentage of time during which the agent is in the system and available to receive incoming calls, messages, letters, and so on. It can be obtained by dividing the actual workload hours by the formal number of working hours.

Call recording is a feature that allows the call center to record telephone interactions between customers and agents. By law, the company must warn the subscriber that the call will be recorded – usually in this case, an automatic message is triggered that the call can be recorded to improve the quality of service. Call recording is useful for assessing the quality of operators’ work in QA, training new employees, and analyzing customer service.

Calling Line Identifier (CLI) is a technology that matches a subscriber number against a database of past call records. Helps identify a customer when receiving a call in a call center.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is a technology that allows computers to be used to handle phone calls instead of traditional telephones. For this, Internet telephony is used, which transmits data not over a copper cable, but through a network.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a voice menu that plays a pre-recorded message with a list of options. The subscriber can select the desired option via voice response or by entering the appropriate number, which will trigger a response action, such as routing the call to the relevant department.

A Call Details (CDR) is a document created by the call center’s telecommunications system that contains detailed information about a call. It includes the caller number, call duration, termination status, scheduled follow-up actions, and so on.

Callback (callback function) is a widget that allows the user to order a callback from the company on the site at a convenient time, as well as a workflow in the call center, when the operator contacts the client after receiving the application.

Call routing is the process of redirecting calls to specific departments or to specific operators using VoIP.

The random equivalent method is a traffic management model that is used in a situation of peak load on the call center; needed to distribute a large number of calls.

Erlang models are several methods for call distribution management that were developed by the Danish mathematician Erlang in the early 1900s. The Erlang C model assumes that subscribers will wait in line when calling the call center and helps to calculate the required number of agents for the company.

A general callback occurs when a dialed number is not answered and the system puts it on redial in a common queue for all operators. When the system gets through to the subscriber, this call will be accepted by the first available operator.

Onboarding is the process of involving a new employee or client in a company: demonstrating the basics of work, company culture, product features, and so on. A kind of introduction to the course of things, an adaptation period with training.

Opening a call is a script for starting a conversation between a customer and an agent, usually including a greeting, company name, and agent name.

Queue Cleanup – Redirect callers to a different department or operator group to avoid a long queue. This enables callers to connect and speak to a specialist faster than in the original queue.

Peak traffic – the maximum number of calls during a certain period of time; often reflects seasonality.

Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a document with a list of potential threats to a business, as well as procedures and recommendations on how to act so that the company continues to function during emergencies.

Post-call processing – the time that the agent uses to complete administrative work after the call: filling out a ticket, entering data into the CRM system, and so on.

Predictive Dialer is an automatic call center dialing feature. The system starts dialing new numbers while agents are still on other active calls. By the time an employee ends the current call, the system has already dialed the next one, saving agents time and providing highly efficient call handling.

Estimated waiting time (EWT) is the expected amount of time subscribers have to wait before connecting to an operator.

An abandoned call is a call from a subscriber that was dropped before the agent answered it. The user may hang up due to too long queue time or technical issues. In outbound departments, interrupted calls also happen if the system initiates a call through the predictive call function, the subscriber picks up the phone, and there are not enough operators in the call center to process it.

Equal call distribution is when the system assigns the same number of calls to each agent, regardless of workload or other factors.

First Call Resolution (FCR) is an agent performance metric often used by technical support staff. Measures how many customer requests were resolved from the first call and did not require a call back. One of the most important KPIs in a call center.

Return on investment (ROI) measures the profit or loss generated in relation to the amount invested in product development. One of the methods for accounting and optimizing profitability in a call center is to connect call tracking.

Level zero solution is a call center metric. Measures the percentage of customer requests that the operator has solved, and they could be solved through self-service: interactive menu, FAQ, knowledge bases, and so on.

Ticket system – a system for accounting for interactions with customers. For each caller, a ticket is created containing all information about the call. Tickets are stored in the CRM system; A ticket can be open or closed, depending on the processing status.

A Document Management System (DMS) is a computer system for tracking, processing, managing and storing documents. It reduces paper usage, speeds up and simplifies document processing, and helps track file changes. Google Docs is a DMS service.

Average Handling Time (AHT) is the average time an agent spends on a call, hold time, and any post-call activities and administration. It is calculated as (Talk time + Hold time + ACW) / Total number of calls handled.

Average talk time (ATT) is the average time an agent spends talking to customers over a given period of time. It is calculated using the formula: Total time spent on a call / All calls handled.

Customer satisfaction – the degree of customer satisfaction; how much he feels that his expectations are justified by the company or product. The NPS metric is often used to measure customer satisfaction.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a customer relationship approach that helps you retain customers, grow your customer network, and make sales. To do this, CRM uses systems to collect and analyze data about communication and relationships with customers, as well as their preferred communication channels.

Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM) is a set of processes for working with customers to meet and exceed their expectations. CEMs help increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Service Level (SL) defines performance in terms of operator availability for a given period of time. Usually stated as a percentage.

Shrinkage is the paid time during which employees cannot receive calls, expressed as a percentage. Taking into account the requirements for personnel, shrinkage takes into account breaks, meetings with a team lead, training, paid vacation. Shrinkage is important for proper workforce planning.

Conditional Routing – The ability of an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) to route calls or contacts based on if…then rules. Routing conditions can include day of the week, time of day, presence of specialists, type of call, and required service.

An API is a communication between software that is used to transfer data between programs or devices. The Application Program Interface is used to integrate various services, for example, to connect IP telephony and a self-written CRM system that does not have ready-made functionality for integration.

Centum Call Seconds (CCS) is 100 seconds of a call. It is used as a unit of telephone traffic calibration. 1 hour = 1 erlang = 60 minutes = 36 CCS.

IP telephony is a technology for transmitting voice data over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. IP telephony uses packet switching: data is divided into different packets that are transmitted to the receiving party at the other end of the telephone line. All this happens in a very short time, and even though these packets are transmitted separately, the transmitted voice is again “assembled” in a clear and logical order.

Quality Assurance (QA) – the processes that a company performs to ensure the quality of processes, services, goods, and so on.

SaaS (software as a service) is a cloud service in which a software solution is hosted not on the user’s local computer, but on the Internet. Telephony Nextel is a SaaS product.

Voice Over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) is a new high-speed wireless standard that provides HD voice quality, background noise reduction, and many other features and benefits over past wireless standards.

Workforce management (WFM) is a set of processes for managing personnel at the individual, departmental, and company levels. Includes scheduling, forecasting and compliance for employees in their future activities.

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May 8, 2022

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