Glossary

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Welcome to the most comprehensive and hopefully entertaining call centre glossary on the internet! If you find we are missing a term or have a suggestion on how we can improve a current one please submit your request below.

Otherwise kick back, learn and enjoy our call centre glossary!

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  • a

  • Abandoned Calls
    Customers who tried to contact your business but then they simply gave up out of frustration,(...)
  • ACD
    The system that handles all the incoming telephone calls and directs them to the next(...)
  • ACW
    The period of time immediately after completing the contact with a customer but where more(...)
  • Adherence
    Contact Centres spend a lot of time building complex rosters aligned to peak calling periods(...)
  • Advanced Mobile Location
    Depending on what you get up to in life, Advanced Mobile Location (or AML for short) could be(...)
  • After Call Work
    The period of time immediately after completing the contact with a customer but where more(...)
  • AHT
    The total length of time from start of the conversation with the customer to the end of the(...)
  • AML
    Depending on what you get up to in life, Advanced Mobile Location (or AML for short) could be(...)
  • ASA
    The average time (typically in seconds) that it takes across ALL calls to be answered by an(...)
  • Attrition
    A common metric that is used to measure the amount of people that leave an organisation,(...)
  • Automatic Call Back
    A feature that enables customers facing long wait times in your queue (on the rare times that(...)
  • Automatic Call Distributor
    The system that handles all the incoming telephone calls and directs them to the next(...)
  • Automatic Dialler
    An Automatic Dialler or Outbound Dialler is an electronic device or software that(...)
  • Average Handle Time
    The total length of time from start of the conversation with the customer to the end of the(...)
  • Average Speed of Answer
    The average time (typically in seconds) that it takes across ALL calls to be answered by an(...)
  • b

  • B2B
    Often heard in marketing, B2B is a short version of Business to Business. Simply put it(...)
  • B2C
    Just like B2B, B2C is a short version of Business to Consumer. “Hi Justin, its Tim from(...)
  • Back Office Outsourcing
    A term we hear more and more, it refers to the outsourcing of administration components of a(...)
  • Balanced Scorecard
    A way of displaying performance data that typically consists of a range of different measures(...)
  • Big Data
    Its not the size that matters, its what you do with it (allegedly…). Big data is a broad term(...)
  • Bloody Marketing!
    Often heard when unexpected call volumes start flooding into the call centre. We’d hate to(...)
  • bot
    One day your happy talking to a human being and then whack, bam - you're now dealing with a(...)
  • BPA
    The skill of taking very manual processes and utilizing computer systems and software to(...)
  • BPO
    Engaging another company to deliver services on your behalf. In our world that typically(...)
  • Brandy
    Absolutely no relevance to the contact centre industry at all. However Brandy is my beautiful(...)
  • Business Process Automation
    The skill of taking very manual processes and utilizing computer systems and software to(...)
  • Business Process Improvement
    Someone has always got a better way of doing things…. A systematic approach to optimise(...)
  • Business Process Outsourcing
    Engaging another company to deliver services on your behalf. In our world that typically(...)
  • c

  • Call Recording
    The ability to record and retrieve the entire conversation with the customer.  Can also be(...)
  • Call Routing
    The same as an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD). There are three key types of call routing(...)
  • Calling Line Identification
    CLI or Calling Line Identification is when the telephone technology displays the number where(...)
  • Carers Leave
    In Australia most organisations allow paid time off known as Carers Leave for staff to care(...)
  • CCaaS
    Heard of Cloud Solutions right? Well you can now have your whole contact centre infrastructure(...)
  • CEM
    Gartner defines customer experience management (CEM) as “the practice of designing and(...)
  • CFM
    CFM Software is essentially any software that is designed to capture the 'Voice of the(...)
  • Chatbot
    One day your happy talking to a human being and then whack, bam - you're now dealing with a(...)
  • CLI
    CLI or Calling Line Identification is when the telephone technology displays the number where(...)
  • Cloud Computing
    A Cloud computer means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of(...)
  • Computer Telephony Integration
    A method of connecting your telephone system to your database that sounds nice and simple(...)
  • Consultants
    Typically overpriced individuals or organisations that charge you exorbitant fees to tell you(...)
  • Contact Centre as a Service
    Heard of Cloud Solutions right? Well you can now have your whole contact centre infrastructure(...)
  • COPC
    The COPC® Family of Standards is a globally recognized performance management framework that(...)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
    CSR is most commonly known as Customer Service Representative however there is also another(...)
  • Crikey
    A very Aussie terms used when things go wrong. Think a fire evacuation drill right in the(...)
  • CRM
    Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company’s interaction with(...)
  • CSR
    Just the most important person in your contact centre! A Customer Service Representative 'CSR'(...)
  • CTI
    A method of connecting your telephone system to your database that sounds nice and simple(...)
  • Customer Experience Management
    Gartner defines customer experience management (CEM) as “the practice of designing and(...)
  • Customer Feedback Management
    CFM Software is essentially any software that is designed to capture the 'Voice of the(...)
  • Customer Relationship Management
    Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company’s interaction with(...)
  • Customer retention
    A term used when companies desperately try and 'retain' customers who are likely to leave them(...)
  • Customer Service Representative
    Just the most important person in your contact centre! A Customer Service Representative 'CSR'(...)
  • CX
    We love our acronyms in the contact centre industry! Now I'd like to pretend that CX is some(...)
  • d

  • Dialer
    See Automated Dialler
  • Digitisation
    Digitisation is the process of converting information into a digital format. In this format,(...)
  • DNIS
    DNIS (or Dialled Number Identification Service) is a feature of the telephony network that(...)
  • Double Jacking
    When a Team Leader/Supervisor sits next to an agent at their desk and plugs into their headset(...)
  • e

  • Employee Engagement
    Employee engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to(...)
  • Employee retention
    Most businesses spend a lot of money on hiring and training staff, and then waiting (often for(...)
  • Erlang
    Time to get your geek on! Back in the early 1900’s Mr. Agner Krarup Erlang developed a number(...)
  • f

  • FCR
    FCR is a common measure for the effectiveness of the call centre – was the enquiry resolved on(...)
  • First Call Resolution
    FCR is a common measure for the effectiveness of the call centre – was the enquiry resolved on(...)
  • g

  • GOS
    To the misinformed, GOS of course is short for GOSSIP. But contact centres are a professional(...)
  • Grade of Service
    To the misinformed, GOS of course is short for GOSSIP. But contact centres are a professional(...)
  • h

  • Hold Messaging
    The ability to play some targeted messages to customers whilst they listen to some great(...)
  • Hold Music
    The ability to play some nice music to customers to ease the pain of waiting to speak to an(...)
  • Hold Time
    The length of time an agent places a customer on hold. This can be to check for further(...)
  • Home Agent
    With the introduction of Cloud Solutions, it is now quite easy (from a technology perspective)(...)
  • i

  • Intra Day Statistics
    Reports that provide details of what is happening in the Call Centre at particular times of(...)
  • ISO Standards
    A global Quality Framework (ISO stands for International Standard Organization) that is often(...)
  • ITIL
    ITIL, formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of(...)
  • IVR
    The IVR (or Automatic Voice Response) is a telephone system that lets callers interact with(...)
  • j

  • Job Description
    A document that sets out clear expectations of the duties for a specific job along with the(...)
  • k

  • Key Performance Indicators
    Defines the targets and measures against which an agent, Team or Centre must perform. Key(...)
  • KMS
    Its like asking your Mum for advice, she always knows the right things to say! KMS is(...)
  • Knowledge Management System
    Its like asking your Mum for advice, she always knows the right things to say! KMS is(...)
  • KPI
    Defines the targets and measures against which an agent, Team or Centre must perform. Key(...)
  • KRA
    Key Responsibility & Accountability (KR&A) Similar to Key Performance Indicators. The only(...)
  • l

  • Leave Without Pay
    In Australia, the majority of organisations will allow staff to take personal leave without(...)
  • Line of Business Codes
    A list of customisable codes that are entered either during or after a call by an agent to(...)
  • LWOP
    In Australia, the majority of organisations will allow staff to take personal leave without(...)
  • m

  • Management Information System
    The Management Information System (MIS) provide reports that enable the Call Centre Manager to(...)
  • Maximum Wait Time
    The longest time a customer had to wait to be connected to an agent. This could be over an(...)
  • MIS
    The Management Information System (MIS) provide reports that enable the Call Centre Manager to(...)
  • Multi-channel
    Refers to the variety of means (I really wanted to write ‘channels’) that customers can(...)
  • Multi-skilling
    An agent who can handle several different types of calls, e.g. sales and service or multiple(...)
  • Mystery Shopping
    Fake calls made by paid professionals to check that the actual customer experience is in line(...)
  • n

  • Natural Language IVR
    Natural Language IVR is Speech Recognition on steroids combined with the benefits of an IVR.(...)
  • NBN
    The National Broadband Network (aka NBN) is the largest infrastructure project in(...)
  • Near Shore
    A term typically used to describe the location of outsourcing call centre work to another(...)
  • NPS
    Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer loyalty metric developed by Fred Reichheld. Net(...)
  • o

  • OffShore
    A term typically used to describe the outsourcing of call centre work to another country to(...)
  • Omnichannel
    Think of it like opening a block of Cadbury Snack chocolate - there are lots of options to(...)
  • One on Ones
    Having a conversation with agent off the phones. Typically conducted at least once a month and(...)
  • Overflow Calls
    Calls that cannot be initially handled by the primary workforce. There are a range of options(...)
  • p

  • PABX
    Depending on its capacity, a PABX (or Private Automatic Branch Exchange) can handle thousands(...)
  • PCI DSS
    PCI DSS is short for the beautifully phrased term Payment Card Industry Data Security(...)
  • Penalty Hold
    When an agent places an annoying customer on hold as punishment for being an asshole. Stats(...)
  • Post Call Survey
    Post Call Surveys are typically automated and used to gather information from the customer(...)
  • Predictive Dialler
    A Predictive Dialler is the modern day torture device for call centre agents and customers(...)
  • Process Optimisation
    It reminds me a bit of the line from Predator ” If it bleeds we can kill it”. Well if you have(...)
  • q

  • QA
    Refers to a structured process to measure the quality and or compliance of a call centre(...)
  • Quality Assurance
    Refers to a structured process to measure the quality and or compliance of a call centre(...)
  • Quality Framework
    A structured program that outlines the key components necessary for a great customer(...)
  • Queue
    Just like those long lines you stand in when trying to purchase the latest Apple Phone that(...)
  • r

  • RAN
    A recorded announcement (RAN) that plays whilst a customer is on hold or at the start of a(...)
  • RDO
    The RDO or Rostered Day Off used to be a common model in Australia where contact centre agents(...)
  • Reason Codes
    A list of customisable codes that are entered either during or after a call by an agent to(...)
  • Recorded Announcement
    A recorded announcement (RAN) that plays whilst a customer is on hold or at the start of a(...)
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing
    Service providers manage the entire recruiting/hiring process from job profiling through(...)
  • Remote Listening
    The ability to listen to a live conversation between an agent and a customer from another(...)
  • s

  • Scheduled Call Back
    Similar to Virtual Queue, a scheduled call back enables the customer to determine when they(...)
  • Screen Capture
    The ability to record all computer activity/transactions by an agent. Can also be combined(...)
  • Screen Pop
    Screen pop describes the ability for specific information related to the caller to arrive on(...)
  • Service Level Agreements
    Typically a contractual agreement between a service provider (e.g. an Outsourcer) and the(...)
  • She'll be right
    Normally the response from the Marketing department when you raise your concern about the(...)
  • Short Calls
    There are some naughty agents out there that think it’s a pretty cool idea to answer a call(...)
  • Shrinkage
    A condition most likely to effect males after exiting cold water. Whilst that’s true,(...)
  • Sick Leave
    When an agent does not attend a scheduled shift due to illness. In Australia most call centre(...)
  • sickie
    When an agent does not attend a scheduled shift due to illness. In Australia most call centre(...)
  • Side by Side Coaching
    The process of physically sitting next to an agent and providing them with some coaching ‘on(...)
  • SIP
    The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a communications protocol for signaling and(...)
  • Skills Based Routing
    By using an IVR, we are able to determine the key reason a customer is trying to contact us.(...)
  • SLA
    Typically a contractual agreement between a service provider (e.g. an Outsourcer) and the(...)
  • Speech Analytics
    The process of analysing recorded calls to gather information, bring structure to customer(...)
  • Speech Recognition
    For Apple lovers out there think Siri. It’s the ability for a machine or program to identify(...)
  • Superannuation
    In Australia its law that employees are paid 9.5% of their salary into a Superannuation fund(...)
  • Supervised AI technology
    I know it sounds complicated right? So lets break it down real slow. Supervised AI technology(...)
  • t

  • Talk Time
    The amount of time an Agent spends actually talking to a customer – from start to finish. In(...)
  • Team Leader
    Quite possibly the most important people in your call centre! A Team Leader is directly(...)
  • Total Customer Effort
    The big daddy of KPIs! Customer Effort measures the entire length it takes a customer to(...)
  • Trunks
    Simply put it’s the number of telephone lines available. If you don’t have enough you will not(...)
  • v

  • Virtual Assistant
    Argh technology hey. Computers are now so smart that with a bit of work, they can actually(...)
  • Virtual Queue
    Some pretty smart technology that enables customers to retain their place in the call waiting(...)
  • VoC
    OK sit down. This one may come as a shock. Voice of the Customer is the term given to formal(...)
  • Voice Analytics
    Voice Analytics is the process of analysing recorded calls to obtain insights that previously(...)
  • Voice Biometrics
    Voice Biometrics is a numerical representation of the sound, pattern, and rhythm of an(...)
  • Voice of the Customer
    OK sit down. This one may come as a shock. Voice of the Customer is the term given to formal(...)
  • Voicemail
    Often the last resort in a call centre when you simply cant get to all the calls in a quick(...)
  • VoIP
    Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP can be explained in a non geeky way of sending your voice(...)
  • w

  • Web Voice Synchronisation
    Web Voice Synchronisation is a cutting-edge contact centre technology that rotates your(...)
  • WFH
    With the introduction of Cloud Solutions, it is now quite easy (from a technology perspective)(...)
  • WFM
    The most basic functions of an automated workforce management system are forecasting,(...)
  • Workforce Management
    The most basic functions of an automated workforce management system are forecasting,(...)
  • Wrap Time
    Time taken by the Agent, following the call, to complete the transactions for that call (e.g.(...)
  • WVS
    Web Voice Synchronisation is a cutting-edge contact centre technology that rotates your(...)

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