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Contact Center & Omni Channel Glossary

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The contact center industry lingo is often not-so self-explanatory. There are terms or abbreviations that are commonly thrown around which needs to be defined for universal clarification. In this glossary we have put together a mixture of call center terminologies, metrics and acronyms, that will aid you.

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A

  • Abandon:- Inbound calls waiting to be connected but instead got terminated before being transferred due to discontinuation. In outbound calls, it refers to ending of communication by the predictive dialer due to system or agent not being able to connect.
  • ACD (Automatic Contract Distributor):- Specialized Omnichannel routing engine designed to distribute inbound calls amongst agents based on customer requests and agent skills set. It is used to ensure maximum efficiency while solving customer requests and to identify which problems
  • ActiveX Controls:- Feature that allows interactive functionality set within a webpage.
  • Advanced Call Center Technologies:- Encompasses modern technology used to provide better communication and services by company to customer. Such as AI.
  • Agent:- Company representative assigned to handle set inbound and outbound contracts based on agent specialization.
  • Agent Coaching:- Quality and performance activity and monitoring which provides the agent with feedback to better address the present-day customer.
  • Agent Experience:- Experience acquired by an agent through time spent on customer interactions. It is improved through agent coaching, skill training and workforce optimization
  • Agent Occupancy:- Displays the amount of time agents are actively engaged in interaction handling activities when compared to the total time spent logged in. Generally used as a workforce management metric.
  • Agent Report:- Statistical data providing insights to individual agent performance based on avg handle time, unavailable time, call log, etc.
  • Agent Self-Evaluation:- Activity where agent score their own interactions through typically used evaluation forms. Typically done as a quality management activity.
  • Agent Utilization:- Workforce management technique to evaluate agent productivity.
  • Analog:- The process of audio signals being transformed into digital electric pulses.
  • Analytic:- Tool meant to improve business operations by analyzing data points, making correlations, and providing insights and reports on trends.
  • Application Program Interface (API):- A set of guidelines or functions to help developers create programs which access features or data off an operating system, application, or service.
  • Automatic Number Identification (ANI):- Service used to identify the number of the caller and match it with the database of customers to provide better personalized experience.
  • Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR):- Technology capable of processing and responding to verbal communication.
  • Automation:- Hardware and Software enabling tasks to be performed automatically through.
  • Avatars:- Virtual representation of an agent/customer's character or persona.
  • Average Handle Time (AHT):- Average amount of time spent by an agent handling contracts.
  • Average Hold Time (AHLDT):- Average amount of time contacts or customers spend time on hold.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI):- Layers of programming are meant to simulate the human nervous system to enable machine learning allowing the technology to analyze data and predict and solve problems.
  • Auto Dialer:- Commonly referred to as Dialer. It is the technology which automates the process of making calls in outbound contacts. Can provide advanced functionality, scripting and reporting as well.
  • Automatic Callback:- Technology allows the customer to instruct the system to return their calls at a later point of time or an indicated preferred time due to the unavailability of a free agent or customer.

B

  • Blended Agent:- An agent who handles inbound/outbound contracts through various digital channels, voice and web interactions.
  • Bot:- A program made to automate previously simplistic human performed tasks (ex. ChatBot)
  • Business-to-Business (B2B):- Transactions taking place between two businesses.
  • Business-to-Customer (B2C):- Transactions taking place between business and customer.
  • Byte:- Unit of measurement of data used by computers represented by characters and symbols. A byte is eight binary digits.
  • Barge-in:- An ACD function allowing a three-way conference between the agent, customer, and management so that the contact center manager can join and assist the agent/customer in the existing call.
  • Business Optimization:- Process of analyzing data to measure business productivity, efficiency, and performance to ensure improved success rates and heightened performance.
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO):- Outsourcing specific tasks to a third-party provider specialized in handling said specific task. The third part is referred to as Business Process Outsourcer.
  • Back Office Optimization:- Streamlining back-office workforce while simultaneously providing better communication between the back and front office to provide increased efficiency and better agent and customer experience.

C

D

E

  • Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM):- Solutions provided to increase value, satisfy customers and increase the revenue of the organization through the sharing of information.
  • Escalation:- The process where customer’s call must be transferred to a superior adviser for better resolution for their problem.

F

  • First Contact Resolution:- A measure indicating the capability of contact center to resolve a customer’s issue during the first interaction.
  • Forecasting:- Application to help predict contact center workload, schedule agents and staffing requirements in accordance with the same.

H

  • Hold Time:- The total amount of time a customer spends in an agent-initiated hold.

I

K

  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator):- A standard measurement of daily contact center performance, often captured as reports. These indicators vary for different roles.

N

  • NLP (Natural Language Processing):- A computerized process that enables text or audio speech to be converted into structured data for the system to comprehend.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS):- This is a contact center measurement that determines how likely a customer will recommend a business to their friends or family. This successfully assesses your customer loyalty and brand advocacy.

O

  • Omnichannel Customer Journey:- The complete interactive path that a customer experiences across various voice and digital channels, when associating with an organization.
  • Omnichannel Platform:- A marketing-based platform where all the touchpoints of the brand are seamlessly unified to retain customer information and conversational context. This platform can be leveraged for sales, support, experience enhancement, journey mapping, and more.

P

  • Performance Management System:- A measurement system that offers real-time reports and analysis of all roles in the organisation.
  • Private Branch Exchange (PBX):- An organization’s private telephony system used to conduct or receive inbound or outbound calls.
  • Proxy Server:- An external server that is deployed to manage heavy processing requests.
  • Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN):- A public network to which all voice interactive channels are connected including telephony systems, PBXs etc.
  • Prompt:- A suggested message or note that pops up or is being played to the customer to guide them to move ahead in their course of action. These prompts appear in various forms like options on the IVR menu, clickable choices on a website, and more.

Q

  • Quality Management:- The technique or process a business uses to monitor, analyze and improve their quality of service or product or both.
  • Queue:- A virtual line formed when high volume of customers awaits a steady connection to an agent either on voice or on other digital channels.

R

S

  • Speech Analytics:- An AI-based technology that analyzes human languages or speeches to decode and process it.
  • SMB:- Small-to-Midsize Business
  • SME:- Small-to-Midsize Enterprise
  • Softphone:- A virtual phone with all the capabilities of a physical telephone.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service):- A cloud-based solution offered by a vendor to its clients on a subscription basis. In return, the vendor manages and optimizes the solution for best possible outcome for their clients.
  • Sentiment Analysis:- An AI-based analysis is conducted on any customer information available in any format like speech or text, to unfold the sentiment and the intent of the customer. Through sentiment analysis, customers can be segmented into groups for better support.
  • Shrinkage:- A workforce management metric that denotes the difference between the time customer service agents are paid for answering calls and the amount of time they actually spend doing their job by making/receiving calls.
  • Screen Recording:- An event where an agent’s screen is recorded when they are in the action of problem-solving. These recordings help in compliance, coaching, and quality purposes.

T

U

V

  • Virtual Agent:- A digital personification of a chatbot.
  • Virtual Contact Center:- A cloud-based contact center enabling agents and other employees to work from any geographical location, remotely.
  • Voice Authentication:- A voice-biometric verification process for a user to provide access to their respective rights.
  • Voiceprint:- A unique biometric identifier of the user’s voice, decoding it for voice authentication purposes.
  • VoIP (Voice over IP):- A technology that allows you to make voice calls using internet connection and not a traditional line.

W

  • Work From Home (WFH):- An occurrence where employee operates remotely, without coming to office. It is mostly enabled by cloud-based contact center solutions.
  • Workforce Engagement:- It is the attempt to increase productivity by increasing agent’s engagement via gamification of their work.
  • Workforce Management (WFM):- The process of coaching, empowering and monitoring call center agents and managing them for better yield.
  • Workforce Optimization (WFO):- It is the process of improving contact center productivity and efficiency by empowering an agent and predicting their performance level. WFO also includes real-time analysis of agent’s performance to better forecast and assign roles.

J

  • Journey Mapping:- The event of tracing a customer’s association with a brand. The customer’s journey starts with discovery and may or may not end with post-purchase nurturing.

M

  • Multichannel:- A contact center ecosystem where all inbound and outbound communications are handled over various non-connected touchpoints. These channels along with their data are isolated and not unified.
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