Senior Writer: Paras Kela
Effective communication is key to ensuring a seamless interaction between businesses and their clients. Call centers play a vital role in this process, serving as a hub for customer inquiries & support, and issue resolution. To navigate this dynamic environment, being familiar with the specialized jargon and terminologies used within call centers is crucial.
In this blog, we’ll look into the reasons why you need to know these call center terms and provide a comprehensive list of 30 key terms in call center that will empower you to excel in the call center industry.
Why is There a Need to Know About These Call Center Terminologies?
Want to know why you need to have information about call center terminologies? Below are the main benefits:
1. Enhanced Communication
Understanding BPO terminologies helps ensure clear and concise communication among call center agents, supervisors, and management. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and reduces misunderstandings during customer interactions.
2. Improved Customer Experience
Equipped with the right terminology, call center agents can provide better assistance to customers. This leads to quicker issue resolution, increased customer satisfaction, and a positive overall experience.
3. Efficiency and Productivity
When agents are well-versed in call center jargons, they can navigate their systems and tools more efficiently. This saves time and increases productivity, allowing agents to handle more customer inquiries.
4. Training and Onboarding
Knowing these terminologies is essential for the training and onboarding of new call center agents. It helps them become familiar with the industry’s language and processes, reducing the learning curve.
5. Quality Assurance
Understanding contact center terminology is vital for quality assurance efforts. Supervisors and quality assurance teams use these terms to evaluate agent performance and identify areas for improvement.
"Effective communication is at the heart of exceptional customer service. In call center industry, understanding the industry-specific jargon is like speaking the language of your customers and colleagues. Invest in continuous learning and training to ensure your team is well-versed in these terminologies, and always strive for improvement in delivering top-notch customer experiences. "
30 Call Center Terminologies: You Must Know
To enhance your knowledge of the call center industry, below we have provided the call center terminology list that you can learn from.
1. Abandoned Call
An abandoned call occurs when a customer initiates contact with a call center but hangs up before connecting with an agent. This can happen due to long wait times or frustrations. For instance, if a caller waits for more than five minutes on hold without speaking to an agent, their call might be considered abandoned. Call centers track abandonment rates to gauge customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
Example: A customer calls a tech support line but decides to hang up after waiting for 15 minutes without speaking to an agent. This call is recorded as an abandoned call.
2. Automatic Call Distribution
ACD is a system that manages incoming calls by distributing them to the most appropriate available agent. It considers factors like agent skill, availability, and caller priority. This technology optimizes call routing for efficient handling and minimizes wait times, contributing to improved customer service.
Example: In a busy call center, an ACD system directs a technical inquiry to an agent with expertise in the specific product being discussed, ensuring the customer receives accurate and efficient assistance.
You May Also Read : Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)- Everything you Need to Know
3. Average Handle Time
AHT encompasses the entire duration an agent spends on a call, including the conversation with the customer and any post-call tasks, such as data entry or documentation. It is a crucial metric for assessing an agent’s efficiency and productivity, as well as for managing call center resources effectively.
Example: If an agent spends 10 minutes on a call and then takes an additional 5 minutes to update the customer’s file and prepare for the next call, the AHT for that call would be 15 minutes.
4. Basic Rate Interface
BRI is a type of ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connection that provides two 64 Kbps channels, typically used for voice and data transmission. BRI is a cost-effective solution for smaller businesses with moderate communication needs.
Example: A small business might use BRI for its call center, allowing two concurrent voice calls and data transfer at a speed of 128 Kbps.
Benchmarking in the context of call centers refers to the practice of comparing an organization’s performance, processes, and metrics against industry standards or best practices. This process helps call centers identify areas for improvement, optimize their operations, and strive for excellence in customer service. Benchmarking is a valuable tool for evaluating a call center’s efficiency, quality of service, and overall performance.
Example: Imagine a mid-sized e-commerce company with its own call center for customer support. This call center receives a substantial volume of inquiries, ranging from order inquiries to product-related issues. To improve its customer service, the call center manager decides to use benchmarking as a strategic tool.
6. Call Blending
Call blending is a call center strategy that involves combining both inbound and outbound calls within the same agent workflow. By blending these call types, call centers can maximize agent utilization, ensuring that agents are consistently engaged even during slower inbound call periods.
Example: During an outbound sales campaign, call center agents also handle incoming customer service calls to maintain high productivity throughout the day.
7. Call Routing
Call routing refers to the process of directing incoming calls to specific destinations or agents based on predefined criteria. These criteria may include caller ID, the nature of the inquiry, or the agent’s skill set. Effective call routing ensures that each caller is efficiently connected to the most suitable agent or department.
Example: A call center uses call routing to direct customers with billing inquiries to a dedicated billing department, while technical support calls are routed to specialized technical agents.
You May Also Read : Call Routing: How it Works, Benefits & Best Practices
8. Customer Relationship Management
CRM encompasses software or systems used to manage and analyze customer interactions and data. It aids in building and maintaining strong customer relationships by providing agents with valuable insights into each customer’s history, preferences, and needs.
Example: A CRM system allows a call center agent to access a customer’s purchase history and previous interactions, enabling a personalized and efficient support experience.
9. Document Management Systems (DMS)
DMS software is employed for organizing, storing, and retrieving documents and data, often used to manage customer records and information. Call center agents can use DMS to quickly access relevant documents during customer interactions.
Example: In a healthcare call center, a DMS helps agents securely access and update patient records, ensuring accurate and timely information.
10. Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS)
DNIS is a service that identifies the specific number dialed by a customer or caller. It assists in routing calls to the appropriate department or agent based on the number dialed, streamlining call center operations.
Example: A bank’s call center uses DNIS to differentiate between customers calling for mortgage information and those calling for credit card services, directing them to the respective departments.
11. End of Call Disposition
End of call disposition involves classifying or categorizing the outcome of a call, such as whether the customer’s issue was resolved, escalated, or requires further follow-up. This information helps call centers track and manage customer interactions effectively.
Example: After assisting a customer with a technical issue, the agent selects the “Issue Resolved” disposition to indicate that the problem was successfully addressed.
12. Expected Wait Time
Expected wait time provides callers with an estimate of how long they are likely to wait in a queue before connecting with an agent. This transparency helps manage customer expectations and minimize frustration during peak call periods.
Example: A call center’s automated message informs callers that the current expected wait time is approximately 5 minutes, allowing them to decide whether to continue holding or call back later.
13. First Call Resolution (FCR)
First Call Resolution is a critical metric that measures the ability of a call center to resolve a customer’s issue during their initial contact without the need for follow-up. Achieving a high FCR rate indicates efficient and effective customer service, as it minimizes customer effort and frustration.
Example: An agent successfully troubleshoots and resolves a customer’s internet connectivity issue during their initial call, eliminating the need for the customer to call back or seek further assistance.
14. Text to Speech (TTS)
Text to Speech technology converts written text into spoken words. In call centers, TTS is often utilized in Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems to provide automated voice responses, enhancing the accessibility of information for callers.
Example: An IVR system uses TTS to convert text-based menu options into spoken prompts, allowing callers to navigate the menu by voice.
15. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-Factor Authentication is a security measure that requires users to provide two forms of verification before accessing a system or account. In a call center context, this adds an extra layer of security when accessing sensitive customer data.
Example: To access customer account information, an agent may need to enter a password (the first factor) and provide a one-time verification code sent to their mobile phone (the second factor).
16. Uniform Call Distribution (UCD)
UCD is a call routing strategy aimed at distributing incoming calls evenly among available agents. It ensures that no single agent or group becomes overwhelmed with calls, maintaining service levels and efficiency.
Example: In a call center with UCD, incoming calls are distributed to agents in a round-robin fashion, ensuring a fair workload distribution.
17. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
VoIP technology allows voice communication to occur over the internet instead of traditional phone lines. Call centers often use VoIP systems for cost-effective and flexible communication.
Example: A call center employs VoIP to make and receive calls using the internet, reducing long-distance call charges and enabling remote agent work.
You May Also Read : A Complete Guide about to VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
18. Voice Over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE)
VoLTE is a standard for making high-quality voice calls over 4G LTE networks. It improves call clarity and reliability, enhancing the customer experience in call centers using mobile networks.
Example: A mobile network provider employs VoLTE to offer crystal-clear voice calls for its customer service hotline.
19. Webhook Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC)
WebRTC technology enables real-time communication through web browsers without requiring additional plugins or software installations. It’s used to facilitate instant, browser-based interactions, including video calls, chat, and file sharing.
Example: A call center integrates WebRTC into its website, allowing customers to initiate live video chats with agents directly from their web browsers.
20. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
IVR is an automated phone system that allows callers to interact with a computerized menu to access information, make selections, or perform tasks without the need for agent intervention.
Example: When calling a bank’s customer service line, a caller can use the IVR to check their account balance, transfer funds, or inquire about recent transactions.
You May Also Read : IVR (Interactive Voice Response): What is it and How it Works?
SaaS is a software delivery model in which applications are hosted and accessed over the internet, often via a subscription-based model. SaaS solutions are commonly used in call centers for various software needs, such as CRM or workforce management.
Example: A call center deploys a SaaS-based CRM system that allows agents to access customer data securely over the internet, eliminating the need for on-premises software installations.
22. Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
KPIs are metrics used to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of call center operations. These metrics can include response times, customer satisfaction scores, and agent productivity.
Example: A call center manager monitors KPIs such as average wait time and call resolution rates to assess overall performance and identify areas for improvement.
23. Live Monitoring
Live monitoring involves real-time supervision of call center agents by supervisors or quality assurance teams. It enables immediate feedback, coaching, and quality control during customer interactions.
Example: A supervisor uses live monitoring to listen in on a call in progress, providing guidance to the agent if needed to ensure compliance with company standards.
Omnichannel is a customer service approach that integrates multiple communication channels, such as phone, chat, email, and social media, to provide a seamless and consistent experience across all touchpoints.
Example: An omnichannel call center enables customers to initiate contact through their preferred channels (e.g., phone, live chat, or email) and maintains a unified view of interactions across all channels to provide personalized support.
25. Predictive Dialer
A predictive dialer is software that automatically dials a list of phone numbers and connects agents to live calls. This technology optimizes outbound calling campaigns by minimizing downtime and maximizing agent efficiency.
Example: During a telemarketing campaign, a predictive dialer automatically dials a list of potential customers, connecting them to available agents only when a live person answers the call.
26. Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality assurance in a call center involves the process of monitoring, evaluating, and improving agent performance to ensure high-quality customer interactions. QA teams use established criteria and guidelines to assess agent performance.
Example: A QA analyst reviews recorded calls, checking for adherence to script, politeness, and the accuracy of information provided to customers.
27. Real-Time data
Real-time data refers to up-to-the-minute information on call center performance, including call volume, agent availability, and customer wait times. It enables call center managers to make immediate decisions and adjustments to meet service level goals.
Example: A call center manager uses a real-time dashboard to monitor incoming call volume and agent availability, reallocating resources as needed to maintain service levels during peak hours.
28. Screen Monitoring
Screen monitoring allows supervisors or quality assurance teams to view an agent’s computer screen in real-time during customer interactions. It helps assess the handling of inquiries and ensure compliance with company policies.
Example: A supervisor uses screen monitoring to observe the screen of customer service representative as they assist a customer, ensuring that the agent accesses the correct information and follows the established procedures.
29. Voice Recognition System (VRS)
A Voice Recognition System is a technology that converts spoken words into text. It facilitates automated transcription and analysis of voice interactions, aiding in improving customer service and data analysis.
Example: A call center employs VRS to transcribe customer feedback from recorded calls into text, allowing for sentiment analysis and trend identification.
30. Service Level Agreement (SLA)
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a formal agreement between a call center and its clients or stakeholders that defines the expected level of service and performance standards. SLAs outline specific metrics and targets, such as response times, resolution times, and customer satisfaction goals, to ensure that the call center meets its contractual obligations and delivers a consistent quality of service.
Example: A company outsourcing its customer support to a call center may establish an SLA that stipulates that 90% of all customer inquiries must be resolved within 24 hours of receipt. This agreement sets clear expectations and performance benchmarks for the call center to meet, ensuring that the client’s customers receive timely and effective support
Understanding the intricacies of industry-specific terminologies is not just a matter of convenience – it’s a necessity. This blog has explored 30 essential call center terminologies that empower agents, supervisors, and managers to excel in their roles and enhance the overall customer experience.
Paras Kela is an accomplished IT professional with 7+ years of industry experience, including 4+ years as a dedicated content writer. His expertise lies in crafting informative blogs on VoIP and cloud telephony, among other technical subjects. Outside his professional pursuits, he cherishes quality time with loved ones, indulges in watching documentaries, and finds solace in gardening. Connect with him on LinkedIn.