call center jargons


What are the different Call Center Jargons?

Learn about the different BPO and Call Center Jargons by reading our collection below:


Abandoned Call

When a call is abandoned, the caller hangs up before reaching an agent. Also known as a “Lost Call.”

Account Code

An account code is a string of characters used to identify a client, who could be an individual or a business.

ACD Automatic Call Distributor

The telephone system receives all calls coming into (or leaving) a center and routes each call to the appropriate person or team to answer, queuing calls as needed.

The ACD system can handle multiple phone numbers that come into the center and generates various management information reports about the call traffic and the agents who handle those calls.

Activity Codes

See Wrap-Up Codes.        

ACW – After-Call Work

ACW is the time immediately following the completion of contact with the customer during which the agent performs any extra work. This is also known as “Wrap-up” or “Post-Call Processing (PCP).”

Work that is required as a result of and immediately follows an inbound transaction. This frequently entails entering data, filling out forms, and making outbound calls as needed to complete the transaction. While in this mode, the agent is unable to accept another inbound call. 

Adherence or Adherence to Schedule

  1. A broad term referring to how well agents stick to their schedules. Can include both: a. how much time they were available to take calls during their shifts, including time spent handling calls and time spent waiting for calls to arrive; and b. how much time they were available to take calls during their shifts, including time spent handling calls and time spent waiting for calls to arrive (also called Availability)
  2. Whenever they were available to take phone calls (also called Compliance or Adherence). Occupancy and Real-Time Adherence Software.

Awaiting Further Instructions (AFI)

This is the status of a customer query in a support center, which means that nothing can be done until further instructions are given.

For example, a query can be AFI if the customer has not yet given the call center agent permission to proceed with a potential action.


The person who answers and makes phone calls for customers. Customer correspondence and emails may also be handled.

Customer advisors and customer representatives are other terms for agents.

Agent Group

Also known as a Split, Gate, Queue, or Skills Group. A group of agents who share a set of skills, such as the ability to handle customer complaints.

Agent Out Call

An outbound call was made by a representative.

Agent Occupancy

The amount of logged-in time agents spend on call-related activity is referred to as occupancy.

Agent Status

The agent’s current status, such as wait, talk, wrap, idle, or unavailable.

Agent Status Codes

Agent status codes, also known as “reason” or “activity” codes, allow agents to indicate their Availability for ACD calls.

AHOD – All Hands On Deck

The situation arises when a contact center becomes extremely busy. Customer wait times increase, and service levels begin to decline. This is frequently the result of an external event, such as a marketing campaign, a system outage, or bad weather.

Typically, during AHOD, all team leaders and managers begin taking calls, and overtime is offered to help clear the backlog.

Aritifical Intelligence (AI)

AI, also known as “machine intelligence,” refers to machines that simulate or improve human intelligence.

All Trunks Busy (ATB)

When all trunks are busy in a specified trunk group.

Reports generally show how often all trunks were busy and how much total time all trunks were busy.

They don’t say how many callers received busy signals when all trunks were busy.


Non-digital telephone transmission or switching Signals are equivalent to the original signal.

ANI – Automatic Number Identification

A telephony network feature that records a caller’s identifying telephony number. In the United Kingdom, this is referred to as Calling Line Identity (CLI).


A pre-recorded message was played to callers.

Answer Supervision

The signal sent by the ACD or another device to the local or long-distance carrier in order for it to accept a call. If long-distance charges apply, billing for either the caller or the call center will begin at that time.

Answered Call

When it comes to an agent group, a call is considered answered when it reaches an agent.

Application-Based Routing and Reporting

The ability of an ACD to route and track transactions based on the type of call or application (e.g., sales, service), as opposed to the traditional method of routing and tracking based on trunk group and agent group.


The fundamental design of a system. Determines how the components interact with one another and system capacity, upgradeability, and integration with other systems.

Asynchronous Messaging

This entails integrating messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Messenger with automation so that advisors can respond to customers in the same way regardless of which app they use.

ATA – Average Time to Abandon

The Average Time to Abandon (ATA) is also known as the Caller’s Average Patience.

This is the average amount of time a caller will wait in a queue before abandoning it (or hang up the call).

While some people will stay on the line for extended periods, others will hang up. Many people will redial, but many will not.


Attrition is the rate at which employees leave their jobs voluntarily over a given time. It is also referred to as staff turnover or staff churn,’ though in the contact center industry, “churn” refers to customers’ flow rather than staff.

Auto Attendant

An Auto Attendant (AA) is a system that routes calls based on the caller’s selections from a menu.

The system prompts callers to respond to choices (e.g., “press one for this, two for that?”) and then works with the ACD to route callers to specific destinations. This function can be located on-site or in the network.

Auto Available

An ACD feature in which the ACD is programmed to automatically place agents in Available mode after they complete Talk Time and disconnect a call. They must manually enter After-Call Work if they are required to do so.

Auto Greeting

When a call comes in, the agent’s pre-recorded greeting plays automatically.

Auto Wrap-up

An ACD feature in which the ACD is programmed to automatically place agents in After-Call Work after they have completed Talk Time and have disconnected calls. When they have completed any required After-Call Work, they return to Available.

Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)

An ACD is a specialized phone system used in inbound call centers.

It is a programmable device that automatically answers calls, queues calls, distributes calls to agents, plays caller delay announcements, and generates real-time and historical reports on these activities.

Perhaps a stand-alone system or ACD built into a CO, network, or PBX.

Automated Speech Recognition

A method of automating some or all aspects of a customer call. It enables the caller to interact with your call center using their natural language without an agent’s assistance.

Speech recognition can be used for some or even all parts of a phone call, especially if the information you collect is in a standard format.

Auxiliary Work State

One type of “unavailable” state is an auxiliary work state. The ACD will not route calls to an agent who is in an auxiliary state.


See Adherence to Schedule.

Available State

When an agent is connected to the ACD and waiting for calls.

Available Time

Available time, also known as idle time, is the time spent by agents ready and waiting to take calls.

If an agent is logged into the ACD and not engaged in another task, such as speaking with a customer or performing after-call wrap (ACW), they are available.

Average Delay

See Average Speed of Answer.

Average Delay of Delayed Calls

The average amount of time it takes for a call to be delayed. It is calculated by dividing the total delay for all calls by the number of calls that had to wait in queue. See Average Response Time.

Average Handling Time (AHT)

The amount of time it takes an agent to handle all aspects of a call – including talk time and After-Call Work – is referred to as AHT (ACW).

Average Holding Time on Trunks

Inbound transactions occupy the trunks for the majority of the time.

It is: (Talk Time + Delay Time)/Calls Received

AHT is an abbreviation for Average Handling Time, which has a different meaning.

Average Number of Agents

For a given period, the average number of agents logged into a group.

Average Speed of Answer

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is a metric that calculates how long it takes to answer a typical call after it has been routed to a contact center.

Average Talk Time

Average Talk Time (ATT) is the amount of time an agent spends speaking with customers.

Average Time to Abandonment

The average amount of time callers waits in line before giving up. The calculation only takes into account the calls that fail.



Back-Office Optimisation (BOO)

It makes sense and should increase efficiency to shift resources from the contact center to the back office during low-contact-volume periods of the day and shift resources from the back office to the contact center during high-contact-volume periods of the day.

Balanced Scorecard

A scorecard that displays a variety of measures about how a call center is performing on a single sheet of paper, typically based on graphs or traffic lights.

Base Staff

Seated Agents are another name for Seated Agents. The bare minimum of agents must meet service level and response time targets over a given period.

Seated agent calculations assume that agents will remain seated for the duration of the period. As a result, schedules must include extra people to account for breaks, absenteeism, and other factors that keep agents away from the phones. See Rostered Staff Factor for more information.

Basic Rate Interface (BRI)

One of two basic ISDN service levels. A BRI line has two bearer channels for voice and data and signaling (commonly referred to as 2B+D). Primary Rate Interface (PRI) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) are other terms for the same thing.

Beep Tone

An audible notification that a phone call has arrived (also known as a “Zip Tone”). The audible notification that a call is being monitored is also referred to as a beep tone.


Historically, the term referred to a standardized task for comparing the capabilities of devices. Benchmarking is the process of comparing products, services, and processes with those of other organizations to identify new ideas and opportunities for improvement.

Best in Class

A benchmarking term used to identify organizations that outperform all others in a given category.

Blended agents

Agents who work in a blended environment are trained to handle both incoming and outgoing calls.

Blended AI

This is the use of both human intelligence and artificial intelligence to improve the customer experience.


Callers who are barred from entering a queue.

Blocked Call

A call that cannot be connected immediately because A) no circuit is available when the call arrives, or B) the ACD is programmed to prevent calls from entering the queue when it exceeds a predefined threshold.


Bluetooth is a low-energy data-transfer technology that uses short-range radio signals instead of traditional wires. It is the technology that powers the ‘hands-free’ feature.

Business As Usual (BAU)

BAU refers to the routine execution of standard operations in a call center or other operational environment.

Business Networking

Business networking entails establishing contacts with other professionals for mutual benefit. This is usually done to meet service providers, generate leads, and stay up to date on industry best practices.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

You are taking on a business task and delegating it to another company. This term is commonly used to refer to the relocation of call centers and other business functions to India and other low-cost countries.

Business to Consumer (B2C)

The Business to Consumer (B2C) model entails businesses selling directly to individual consumers rather than other commercial enterprises.

It’s just as easy to shorten it to “Consumer” – so “B2C Sales” could become “Consumer Sales.”

Busy Hour

A telephone traffic engineering term refers to the hour of the day when a trunk group carries the most traffic. The average busy hour reflects the average for several days, such as two weeks.

Incoming call centers, which require more specific resource calculation methodologies, find Busy Hour to be of little use.

B2B (Business to Business)

B2B is an abbreviation for Business to Business. In practice, it usually involves one company attempting to do business with another, such as Dell selling to ICI.

It’s just as easy to shorten it to Business, so “B2B Sales” could become “Business Sales.”

Call Avoidance

A proactive strategy for reducing the number of unwanted or low-value calls, such as failure avoidance through eliminating repeat calls or call automation via self-service.

Call Blending

Another popular call center jargon is Call blending is a method of combining inbound and outbound calls for individual agents.

Inbound call patterns are smoothed out by feeding outbound calls of a similar call type to agents during quiet periods.

Call Centre

A call center is a department or office where a team of advisors or agents handles incoming and outgoing telephone and voice calls from new and existing customers.

Call Centre Manager

The call center manager is the person in charge of the call center’s budget, operations, and business performance.

Call Control Variables

The criteria by which the ACD processes calls. Routing criteria, overflow parameters, recorded announcements, and timing thresholds are all examples.

Call Detail Recording

Each call’s data is captured and stored by the ACD. This information can include the trunk used, the time spent in line, the call’s length, the agent who handled the call, the number dialed (for outgoing calls), and other details.

Call Forcing

An automatic call distribution feature that routes calls to agents who are available and ready to take calls. They hear a beep tone to indicate that the call has arrived, but they do not have to press a button to answer it.

Call Handling Analysis

Call handling analysis is a method of assessing the effectiveness and quality of an agent’s call handling.

Caller ID

See Automatic Number Identification.

Calls In Queue

The number of calls received by the ACD system but not yet connected to an agent is reported in real-time.

Calling Line Identity (CLI or CLID)

Most calls these days are preceded by the caller’s phone number. This is referred to as Calling Line Identity (CLI) or Caller ID by BT.

When someone calls your cell phone, you’ll most likely see this. In the United States, this is referred to as Automatic Number Identification or ANI.

This number can be matched to a caller’s computer record using CTI software.

Call Calibration

Call calibration sessions with quality analysts and team leaders are common in contact centers to ensure that everyone is evaluating customer contacts in the same way.

The contact center can then help ensure that advisors’ performance is scored fairly while also removing any subjective criteria from the quality scorecard.

Call Drivers

Someone had called into the contact center because of a call driver.

In order to reduce call volumes, contact centers frequently measure and analyze their most common call drivers.

Call Riding

Instead of simply transferring a call to a supervisor or another advisor, for example, in a contact center, the advisor conferences in the other employee and stays on the call, listening to both the other employee and the customer.

Call riding can be done for legitimate reasons, such as learning how to handle this type of call from someone else, but it can also be used to avoid having to do any work.

The agent would appear to be on a call with the customer in the ACD stats, even if they were just waiting for their lunch break or checking something on their phone. This type of ruse is difficult to detect.

Call Recording

In call center jargon, call recording is a method for implementing a high-quality call handling process. Calls and data relating to financial or legal transactions may be recorded and stored. Refer to the Call Recording and Speech Analytics Reference Guide for more information.

Call Routing

Call routing is the process of routing incoming calls to specific advisors based on pre-determined criteria.


A telecommunications service provider (TSP) that connects the public to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or mobile networks is known as a “carrier.”

BT, AT&T, Sprint, T Mobile, and Vodafone are examples of carriers.

CEM – Customer Experience Management

Regardless of the method of contact, Customer Experience Management is the application of an overarching theme, company ethos, or approach.

Central Office (CO)

A telephone company switching center or the type of telephone switch used in a telephone company switching center can be referred to as a switching center.

Calls from within the local area are received by the local central office, which either routes them locally or forwards them to an inter-exchange carrier (IXC).

The local central office receives calls from the IXC that originated in other areas on the receiving end.

Channel Agnostic

Regardless of the interaction channel, the provision of a (centralized) process or interaction route.


Chatbots, also known as “virtual assistants,” are self-service systems that respond to customer messages automatically.

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

A common title for the senior executive in charge of an organization’s information systems.

Churn Rate

The churn rate is the percentage of customers who leave a company after a certain time.

Cloud Computing

A remote method of providing a system, service, or solution over a Wide Area Network (WAN) or, more locally, a Local Area Network (LAN) (LAN).

Cloud Contact Centre

Cloud call centers are the next step in the evolution of on-premise call centers to a cloud-based system.


This person provides agents’ additional support and technical knowledge (in addition to the Team Leader). Also known as a companion.

Cold Call

Contact centers make cold calls to potential customers without their permission, usually intending to make a sale or introduce a product.


The ability to follow an order or set of rules is known as compliance. These rules may be set by a regulatory body or be internal to the company.

Computer Simulation

Given a large number of variables, a computer technique for predicting the outcome of various future events. When there are many variables, simulation is often the only way to get a good idea of what will happen.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

A way to link your telephone system to your database. When the call connects, this will usually allow you to display the caller’s information on the agent’s screen (Screen Pop).

CTI can be used for a variety of purposes, including call routing.

Despite its numerous business benefits, it frequently necessitates complex integration, and its use has been limited.

Conditional Routing

Conditional routing enables an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) to intelligently route calls by taking into account contextual and performance data.

Contact Centre

A contact center manages all types of communication, including voice calls, email, letters, social media, and instant messaging, in addition to voice calls.

Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS)

Contact Centre as a service is a new call center jargon which basically means- a contact center solution delivered via the cloud that allows businesses to use the provider’s software.

Contact Centre Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance (QA) is a business process that ensures that products and services conform to a set of internal standards.

Cost Per Call

In call center jargon, Cost per call is the Total costs (fixed and variable) and are divided by total calls for a given time.

Customer Touchpoints

The services and resources that bring the public into contact with a brand are known as customer touchpoints.

CSR (Customer Service Representative)

A person who works in a call center and answers phones. This is also known as an agent or advisor. This term should be used with caution because it can also be misinterpreted.

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

This term is widely used in business and refers to a company’s ethics, such as whether they pollute the environment or not. It’s also mistaken for CSR, which refers to a call center agent.

CTI (Computer Telephony Integration)

At the agent desktop, the ability to automatically combine voice and data (PC or legacy application). When a customer’s details appear automatically on an agent’s screen when the call is answered, this is known as a screen pop.

CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

A Chief Technology Officer is in charge of the contact center’s entire IT infrastructure.

Customer Experience Management (CEM)

Customer experience management (CEM) refers to managing and improving customer journeys to improve customer satisfaction.

Customer Journey Map

A Customer Journey Map is a type of infographic that conveys key details about a typical customer’s relationship with a company.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

There are numerous theoretical definitions for customer relationship management.

Customer Relationship Management is defined in a variety of ways by different people.

  • A long-term client relationship
  • Understanding what motivates your customers
  • Having a good understanding of your target market

Customer Service

One of the most popular call center jargon is Customer service which refers to the assistance given to customers throughout their interactions with a company.

Customer Service Representative (CSR)

A Customer Service Representative works for a company and is responsible for responding to customers via phone, instant messaging, social media, or email.


Database Call Handling

A CTI application in which the ACD communicates with the database computer to process calls based on database information.

For example, a caller enters digits into a voice processing system, the database retrieves customer information, and the ACD is given instructions on how to handle the call (e.g. where to route the call, what priority the call should be given in queue, the announcements to play).

Day of Week Routing

A network service that sends calls to different destinations depending on the day of the week. There are also options for routing based on the day of the year and the time of day.

DDI, Direct Dial Inward

The switch’s direct inbound number.

Delay Announcements

Recorded announcements encourage callers to wait for an agent, reminding them to have their account number ready and providing information on alternative access options. Delay announcements are provided through recorded announcement routes in some systems (RANs).


Delay, also known as Queue Time, is the amount of time a caller spends waiting for an agent to become available. Average Delay of Delayed Calls is the average time a customer must wait in line.

Average Delay and Average Answer Speed are the same thing.

Delayed Call

A call that is queued because it cannot be answered right away.

Dialed Number (DN)

The phone number that the caller dialed to begin the conversation.

Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS)

The telephone network sends a string of digits to the ACD, VRU, or another device to indicate which number the caller dialed.

According to user-defined criteria, the ACD can then process and report on that type of call. Many DNIS numbers can be found in a single trunk group.


The representation of information using a binary code (1s and 0s).


A dashboard summarizes key statistics about contact center performance that can be viewed at a glance.

Digital Access Signalling System (DASS 2)

In the United Kingdom, this is a type of digital telephone line that connects the call center and the telephone exchange.

It’s also known as ISDN 30, and it allows for the transmission of 30 phone calls over a single set of lines.

Dip Check

A “dip check” is a process in which a quality analyst or contact center leader quickly analyzes customer contacts to find one specific type of problem or failure.

DM (Direct Message)

A direct message to a single person is known as a DM. As a result, it is a private mode of communication.

DMS (Document Management System)

As part of a workflow process for managing correspondence, many call centers handle large amounts of incoming mail, opened and scanned by a DMS for electronic distribution.

DNIS – Dialled Number Identification Service

A telephony network feature that represents a caller’s telephony number to the called party. In the United Kingdom, this is referred to as DDI.

DSAT – Customer Dissatisfaction

DSAT is the opposite of CSAT in the sense that you measure how dissatisfied your customers are.

This can be used as a metric or as part of an analysis of where your customers’ problems are so you can assist them in resolving them.

Dual-Tone Multifrequency (DTMF)

A telephone keypad signaling system that sends pairs of audio frequencies to represent digits on the keypad. It is frequently confused with the term Touchtone (an AT&T trademark).

Dynamic Answer

Based on real-time queue information, an ACD feature automatically reconfigures the number of rings before the system answers a call.

This feature can save callers or the call center money when long-distance charges apply because costs don’t start until the ACD answers the call.



Email is a type of electronic communication (email). Text messaging is a type of electronic mail.

Emoji or Emoticon

Emojis and emoticons are pictorial representations of faces that are used to express emotion in text-based communication.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a term used to describe a person’s ability to empathize, communicate, and influence others.

Erlang B

Erlang was created by A K Erlang. Used to calculate the number of trunks needed to handle a known calling load over an hour.

Erlang C

Erlang C is a formula for calculating wait times based on the number of agents available, the number of callers, and the average call handling time.

The Erlang Calculator is also based on this formula. 

Erlang Calculator

The Erlang Calculator is a tool for calculating the number of agents you’ll need.

All you have to do now is enter your call volume and the service level you want to achieve.

The calculator then calculates how many agents you’ll need to meet the service level.


Empathy refers to an agent’s ability to put themselves in the shoes of a customer. Many call centers are devoid of empathy. The caller is just another caller, and the agent does their best to deal with it. With empathy, the agent shares the caller’s concerns:

“I understand how you feel because I, too…” is a common phrase that shows empathy. It’s also easy to mix it up with sympathy, which is more of an “I hear what you’re saying…” type of communication that lacks the shared experience of what it’s like to be in this situation. Carl Rogers, a psychologist, coined the term “empathy” (1902-1987).

The expression of pity or sorrow for another’s distress may demonstrate the difference between empathy and sympathy.

“I offered my sympathy when I learned that Jane’s father died.”

On the other hand, empathy is usually meant to indicate that the person empathizing understands and can identify with the other person’s situation.

“I can empathize with how Jane is grieving over her father’s death. I know exactly how she felt because I went through the same thing when my father died.”

The main difference between empathy and sympathy, in my opinion, is that empathy allows the person who empathizes to feel the distress on a personal level, whereas sympathy does not.

EOS – End of Service

In the contact center, EOS signifies the end of the working day.

It occurs when a contact center ceases to accept customer calls, though it may remain open for another half hour to finish calls.

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning

The method for determining front- and back-office staffing and occupancy levels.

Escalation Plan

A strategy that specifies what actions should be taken if the queue grows too large.


Failure Demand

When customers contact call centers about a company’s fault during the customer journey, the term “failure demand” is used.

In other words, a company’s failure to do something – whether it’s failing to call back, failing to deliver something on time, or something similar – has resulted in increased contact center demand. Failure demand is the term for this additional demand.

Fast Clear Down

When a caller hears a delay announcement, they immediately hang up.

First Call (Contact) Resolution (FCR)

FCR is a metric for determining the relative success of a single interaction. It is typically defined in terms of a single customer or account, a single issue or order, and a pre-determined time frame for a response.

For example, if a customer selects a set of specific options on an IVR or an agent assigns a particular code of result to an account. The customer contacts the supplier/provider within (7) days about the same criteria, and the interaction will fail FCR. It’s usually expressed as a percentage of the total number of interactions.

Flushing Out the Queue

Changing system thresholds to redirect calls waiting for an agent group to a group with a shorter queue or available agents.

FTE – Full-Time Equivalent

The equivalent headcount of one full-time employee.

So 1 FTE = Somebody who works Monday – Friday

 or 1 FTE = Two people who work half a day.

One FTE could work 37.5 or 40 hours per week in terms of hours, depending on how many hours you work per week at your company.



Gamification is a technique for turning everyday work or life into a game by applying video games’ thrills and rewards to everyday tasks.

Great Customer Service

What does Great Customer Service entail, and how does it differ from Good Customer Service?

The three key themes are:

  1. “Great customer service is all about exceeding customer expectations.” “It doesn’t matter who you speak to in an organization; you get a consistently good experience or problem resolution.”
  2. “The best service is no service.”

Grade of Service

Because all trunks are busy, the likelihood that a call will not be connected to a system. The service grade is frequently expressed as “p.01,” which means that 1% of calls will be “blocked.”

Service level and grade of service are sometimes used interchangeably, but the two terms have different meanings.


Handled Calls

The number of calls that agents or peripheral equipment receive and handle. Calls that are abandoned or receive busy signals are not counted as handled calls.

Handling Time

The amount of time an agent spends handling a transaction during Talk Time and After-Call Work. The time it takes for a machine to process a transaction is also known as handling time.

Help Desk

The amount of time an agent spends handling a transaction during Talk Time and After-Call Work. The time it takes for a machine to process a transaction is also known as handling time.

Historical Reports

Reports that track the performance of call centers and agents over time. ACDs, third-party ACD software packages, and peripherals like VRUs and Call Detail Recording Systems generate historical reports. The amount of history that a system can store differs from one system to the next.

Holding Time

See Average Holding Time on Trunks.

Hot Desk

The ‘hot desk’ model is a method of office resource management in which workspaces are not assigned to specific employees.

Rather than being assigned a specific desk, employees are free to use any available workstation.


ICR (Intelligent Call Router)

The brand name for a specific intelligent telecommunications network service that uses real-time data from the call center’s ACD to provide information on queueing and agent availability across a virtual call center network.


IP Multimedia Subsystem is the acronym for IP Multimedia Subsystem.

Over an IP-based infrastructure, IMS enables the convergence of data, speech, and network technology. For IP/packet-based person-to-person communication, the operator selects the control and service logic.

IMS-based services will allow users to communicate in various ways, including voice, text, images, and video.

It’s unclear how this could be applied in a call center setting. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Immutable Law

A natural law that is both fundamental and unchangeable (e.g. the law of gravity). The fact that occupancy rises when service levels fall is an unbreakable law in an inbound call center.

Incoming Call Centre Management

The art of having the right number of skilled people and supporting resources in place at the right time to handle an accurately forecast workload while maintaining service levels and quality.

Incremental Revenue (Value) Analysis

A method for calculating the value (cost and revenue) of adding or removing agents.

Index Factor

A proportion is used as a multiplier to adjust another number in forecasting.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

When a customer calls a call center, IVR (interactive voice response) is a computerized telephone system commonly used.

A telephone system that allows callers to communicate with your company via touchtone or speech recognition.

The IVR will prompt the customer to select a service by pressing a button on their telephone keypad. The call is then routed to the most qualified agent to handle the situation. Customers can also be asked to use their telephone keypad to enter information to help the agent verify their identity, such as account numbers.

While most systems are only set up to give callers menus (press one for sales, two for support, etc. ), they can also be set up to interact with a database to provide status information or account balances.

INS (Intelligent Network Service)

Allows calls to be distributed across a virtual call center network to multiple destinations.

Internal Help Desk

A support group for other internal agent groups, such as those handling complex or escalated calls.

Internal Response Time

The amount of time it takes for an agent group that supports other internal groups (for example, for complex or escalated tasks) to respond to transactions that don’t need to be handled right away (e.g. correspondence or email). See also Service Level and Response Time.

Internet “Call Me” Transaction

When a user is browsing a website, they can request a callback from the call center. Requires the use of an Internet Gateway to connect the ACD system to the internet.

Internet “Call Through” Transaction

Callers can connect directly to an agent by clicking a button on a website while browsing the site. This capability is being developed through standards and technologies.

Internet Phone

Technology allows internet users to make voice phone calls over the internet rather than over a long-distance network.

Intra Day Statistics

Reports that detail what is going on in the call center at specific times of the day, usually broken down into thirty-minute intervals.


An intranet is a private network based on internet protocols owned by a company and used by its employees.

Invisible Queue

An Invisible Queue is a call center queue in which the caller is unaware of their status – usually in a call center.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)

A digital network with voice and data circuits with 64kbit and 2 Mbit bandwidth. A set of international telephone transmission standards.

Compared to older telephone services, ISDN provides an end-to-end digital network, out-of-band signaling, and more bandwidth.

Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and Primary Rate Interface (PRI) are the two standard levels of ISDN (PRI). Basic Rate Interface and Primary Rate Interface are two examples of rate interfaces.


Judgemental Forecasting

It encompasses what people believe will happen in addition to purely statistical techniques. Intuition, interdepartmental committees, market research, and executive opinion are all involved.


 Key Performance Area (KPA)

KPAs are the areas for improvement that our KPIs have identified for us.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Metrics are another term for key performance indicators (KPIs).

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurements of how well businesses and processes work. They accomplish two main goals in the short and long term.

Key Performance Objective (KPO)

Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are the most important contact center goals. Your KPIs are your indicators, while your targets are your goals.

To be safe, keep in mind that KPO can also stand for Knowledge Process Outsourcing, with the acronym varying from one company to the next.

Knowledge Management System

Agents use this desktop application as a source of information when responding to customer inquiries.

Because an agent may have a wide range of inquiries to handle or because responses may change frequently, the Knowledge Management System serves as a single source of content for the center.


LAN (Local Area Network)

A network that connects terminals, PCs, and standard equipment, such as printers, within a single building so that computers can share information and applications.

Law of Diminishing Returns

As more agents are added, the marginal improvements in service level can be attributed to each additional agent diminishing.

Legacy systems

To conduct business with the customer, the agent may be required to use “old” computer systems that the company has had for many years.

These systems are typically less user-friendly than more modern ones, as they may require the agent to memorize codes, use multiple screens, and lack a logical flow.

Link Line (UK)

Non-geographic 0800, 0345, and 0370 numbers are charged at different rates and are usually routed to a DDI number.

Load Balancing

Traffic between two or more destinations must be balanced.

Local Area Network (LAN)

Multiple computers in a building are connected so that they can share information, applications, and peripherals. WAN stands for Wide Area Network.

Local Exchange Carrier (LEC)

Telephone companies provide local connections and services.

Logged On

Agents who have signed on to a system (made their presence known) but are not yet ready to receive calls are in this state.

Long Call

Calls that approach or exceed thirty minutes are used in staffing calculations and traffic engineering.

Longest Waiting Agent

A method of allocating calls to the agent who has been idle for the longest period of time. When there is a queue, the longest available agent is replaced by the next available agent.

Longest Delay (Oldest Call)

The longest a caller has waited in line before abandoning or connecting with an agent.

Look Ahead Queuing

Before overflowing calls from the primary queue, a system or network can examine a secondary queue and evaluate the conditions.

Look Back Queuing

After a call has been overflowed to a secondary queue, a system or network can return to the primary queue and evaluate the conditions. The call can be returned to the original queue if the congestion subsides.

Lost Calls

Inbound calls that do not connect the caller to an advisor or an answering service are referred to as “lost calls.”



The Royal Mail offers a UK-only discount bulk mail service. Mailsort3 promises delivery in 10 working days, Mailsort2 in three working days, and Mailsort1 on a specific day.


The software acts as a bridge between various types of hardware and software on a network, allowing them to work together.

MIS (Management Information Systems)

Reports that allow the Call Centre Manager to track the call center’s performance using wallboards, real-time displays, reporting, forecasting, and staffing.


Position monitoring or service observation are other terms for the same thing. The process of listening to agents’ phone calls to ensure that they are of high quality. Monitoring can take the form of:

  • Agents are kept in the dark about whether or not they are being watched.
  • The person monitoring sits next to the agent and listens in on calls side by side.
  • Calls are recorded and then played back and assessed in a process known as record and review.

Manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN)

In the business world, MSN is an individual number – or sometimes code – assigned to a unit.

Multilingual Agents

Agents who can handle calls in multiple languages.

Multi-Site Networking

The practice of rerouting calls to external locations based on resource availability is known as multi-site networking.


An agent who can handle a variety of calls, such as sales and service.

Murphy’s Law

It will go wrong if anything can go wrong. It’s not a good way to live, but it’s something to think about when creating agent groups, routing configurations, and disaster recovery plans.


Network Control Centre

Also known as a Traffic Control Center. People and equipment in a networked call center environment monitor real-time conditions across sites, change routing thresholds as needed, and coordinate events that impact base staffing levels.

Network Inter-flow

A technology that allows for more efficient call distribution between sites in multi-site call centers.

Calls routed to one site may be queued simultaneously for agent groups in remote sites through network circuits (such as T1 circuits) and ACD software. See also Percent Allocation and Call Routing.

Next Available Agent

A call distribution method that routes calls to the next available agent. The technique aims to ensure that the load is distributed evenly across skill groups or services. Next Available Agent reverts to Longest Waiting Agent when there is no queue.

Non ACD In Calls

Inbound calls directed to an individual agent’s extension rather than a general group. Personal calls or calls from customers dialing the agent’s extension number are examples.

Noise-Cancelling Headset

Headsets that use noise-canceling technology to reduce background noise.

Nuisance Call

A nuisance call is an unwanted or unwelcome call that causes the recipient distress.



Agent occupancy, also known as agent utilization, is the percentage of time agents are handling calls rather than waiting for calls to arrive.

(call volume x average handling time in seconds) / (call volume x average handling time in seconds) / (call volume x average handling time in seconds) / (call volume x average handling time in seconds) / (call volume (number of agents x 1800 seconds). See also Schedule Adherence.

Off The Shelf

Commercially available hardware or software programs that are ready to use “as is.”

Offered Calls

All attempts by callers to contact the call center. For offered calls, there are three options:

  • They may experience busy signals.
  • The system can answer them, but they will hang up before reaching a representative.
  • A representative can respond to them.

In most ACDs, offered call reports refer only to the calls that the system receives.


Other than the busiest times of the call center’s operation. Also used to describe times when long-distance carriers offer discounted rates.

One and Done

The agent’s ability to complete the customer transaction in a single call.

This method aids in the improvement of First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates in call centers.

Open Ticket

A customer contact (transaction) that hasn’t been finished or resolved yet (closed).


Outbound calls are made by a contact center to a third party, typically a customer or a business partner.

Outbound Dialling Campaign

An outbound dialing campaign entails assigning agents to make calls to generate leads, marketing a brand, or conducting research.


Sharing call center activities with a third-party specialist company that can manage the calls on your behalf, such as peak call loads or specific call types.

Inbound response and outbound campaign services are available from outsourcers for various call types, including telemarketing, customer service, technical helpdesk, debt management, and more. BPO – Business Process Outsourcing – is another term for this.


Calls that pass from one group or location to the next. Interflow occurs when calls flow between agent groups, whereas Interflow occurs when calls flow from the ACD to another.


Pareto Chart

A bar chart that shows the frequency of events. Vilfredo Pareto, a 19th-century economist, was the inspiration for the name.

PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

Voice communications are provided by an office telephone system that is housed in a single building.

Also known as a PABX in the United Kingdom (Private Automatic Branch Exchange).

Peaked Call Arrival

A spike in traffic that isn’t due to chance. It’s a rapid increase in a short period.

Percent Allocation

In multi-site call center environments, this is a call routing strategy that is sometimes used. User-defined percentages are used to distribute calls received in the network across sites. See Call Routing for more information.


Poisson is a formula for calculating trunks that is sometimes used – the Erlang Formula uses a variant of Poisson.

If callers receive busy signals, it is assumed that they will try again until they are successful. Because some callers will not retry, keep trying. Poisson tends to overestimate the number of trunks required. See Erlang B and Retrial Tables for more information.

Pooling Principle

According to the Pooling Principle, any move toward resource consolidation will result in increased traffic-carrying efficiency.

Any move away from resource consolidation, on the other hand, will result in lower traffic-carrying efficiency.

Post-Call Processing

See After-Call Work.

Predictive Dialler

For managing outbound calls, you’ll need specialized telephony equipment. Predictive dialing means that the dialler will call the phone numbers of the customers you want to contact, and only when a person answers the phone will the call be directed to an agent to respond.

In this case, an algorithm predicts when an agent will be available and dials in advance, reducing the amount of non-productive time an agent spends between calls.

A predictive dialer can also be used in preview mode, where the system assigns the contact to an agent to preview before dialing the number physically.

Proof of Concept (POC)

POC stands for Proof Of Concept, and it’s a step in turning an idea into a reality.

This acronym can also refer to a customer touchpoint, which is referred to as Point of Contact.

Primary Rate Interface (PRI)

ISDN service at one of two levels. In North America, PRI typically provides 23 voice and data bearer channels and one signaling information bearer channel (commonly referred to as 23B+D).

PRI typically provides 30 bearer lines (30B+D) in Europe. Basic Rate Interface and Integrated Services Digital Network are two examples of basic rate interfaces.

Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX)

See Private Branch Exchange (below).

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

A telephone system that handles incoming and outgoing calls at a customer’s location. ACD software can be used to add ACD functionality to PBXs. Also known as a private automatic branch exchange (PABX) (PABX).

Private Network

A network of circuits dedicated to the use of a single organization or a group of related organizations.

They are common in large organizations and can be regional, national, or international in scope.


A system of causes.

Profit Centre

A non-profitable department or function in an organization is referred to as a non-profitable department or accounting function.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

The public telephone network allows any home or office to be connected to another.


Quantitative Forecasting

Forecasting future events using statistical techniques. Time Series and Explanatory approaches are two of the most common types of quantitative forecasting.

Past trends are used to forecast future events using time series techniques. The goal of explanatory techniques is to find connections between two or more variables. See also Predictive Judgment.


When no agent is available, the ability to prioritize and handle calls.

Queue Time

See Delay.


Random Call Arrival

Incoming calls arrive in a variety of ways, which are normal and random. See Peaked Call Arrival for more information.


Also known as bulletin boards or wall displays. A visual display that provides real-time and historical information on queue conditions, agent status, and call center performance, usually mounted on the wall or ceiling.

Real-Time Adherence Software

Software that keeps track of how well agents follow their schedules. See also Schedule Adherence.

Real-Time Data

Information about the current situation. In the strictest sense, some “real-time” information in real-time (e.g., calls in queue and current longest wait).

To make a calculation, some real-time reports require some history (e.g., the last x calls or x minutes) (e.g. service level and average speed of answer).

Real-Time Management

In response to current queue conditions, making adjustments to staffing and thresholds in the systems and network.

Response Time When New (RTWN)

Some contact centers use the RTWN metric to calculate the average time it takes to respond to a new customer.

This is measured because some businesses want to provide quick service to new customers who are more likely to require assistance in using the product or service.

However, we’ve heard of RTWN being used in other ways in the contact center industry. These are some of them:

  • Real-Time Wireless Network
  • Real-Time Work Notification
  • Return To Work Notification

Received Calls

A trunk detects and intercepts a call. Calls will either be dropped or answered by an agent.

Record and Review Monitoring

See Monitoring.

Recorded Announcement Route (RAN)

See Delay Announcement.


Michael Hammer, a management consultant, coined the term “radical process redesign” to describe radically redesigning processes to improve efficiency and service.

Remote Agents

A remote agent works from a location other than a traditional call center, usually their home.

Response Time

The amount of time it takes for the call center to respond to transactions that don’t need to be handled right away (e.g. correspondence or email). See Service Level.

Rest Day Overtime (RDOT)

The amount of overtime an employee works on a day that was originally scheduled as a “rest day” or a day off can be referred to by RDOT. This term is frequently used in BPOs.

Retrial Tables

It’s sometimes used to figure out how many trunks and other system resources are needed. They assume that if a caller receives a busy signal, they will attempt to contact the call center again. Poisson and Erlang B are two examples.


When a caller receives a busy signal, they “retries.”

Rostered Staff Factor (RSF)

Overlay, Shrink Factor, or Shrinkage are other terms for the same thing. RSF is a numerical factor that determines the minimum on-schedule staff required to meet your service level and response time goals, in addition to the base staff needed.

RSF accounts for things like breaks, absenteeism, and ongoing training and is calculated after base staffing is determined and before schedules are organized.

Round Robin Distribution

A method of allocating calls to agents based on a pre-determined list of numbers. 

RTA – Real-Time Adherence

Adherence can be measured in real-time and overtime in contact centers.

When adherence is being measured in real-time, the acronym RTA is used.

By measuring RTA, contact centers can address the problem right away, ensuring that the right number of advisors are available at all times.


SaaS – software as a service

The (remote) delivery of software or a system to a subscriber or user base by a provider.

Satellite Call Centre

There is no such thing as a satellite call center in space. It’s a smaller contact center located somewhere else – perhaps on the other side of town.

It usually occurs when a business outgrows its primary location in the town center and needs to expand. Rather than moving everyone out of the old building, it purchases a new one on the outskirts of town.

The two call centers are linked, so they typically handle the same calls, but they are physically located in two different places.

Scatter Diagram

A graph that shows the relationship between two variables graphically.

Schedule Compliance

See Adherence to Schedule.

Scheduling Exception

When an agent engages in an activity that is not part of their normal, scheduled schedule.

Screen Monitoring

A system feature allows a supervisor or manager to monitor activity on agents’ computer terminals from afar.

Screen Pop

A screen’s ability to appear on an agent’s desktop simultaneously as a call is known as a screen pop—the ability to use CTI.

Callers’ records are retrieved and delivered to agents along with the calls (based on ANI or digits entered into the VRU).


A script is a written guide that agents use to help them handle calls.


If you can offer self-service, customers will be able to complete transactions or have their questions answered without contacting a member of the customer service team.

Service Level Agreement

A contract between a service provider and an organization that specifies the performance standards that must be met.

Session Initiated Protocol (SIP)

SIP is a signaling system that enables the integration of a wide range of applications. Voice, data, video, pictures, and online games are all examples of this.

It allows the user to switch from one mode to another. A good example would be online gaming on a mobile phone, where you could use a “push to talk” button while playing.

Skills-Based Routing

Skill-based routing ensures that calls are routed to the best-equipped agents to handle that particular call type.

Skip Level Meetings

A skip-level meeting is a meeting between agents and managers in which the team leader is not present, allowing managers to see what is happening on the contact center floor in real-time.

SME – Small Medium Enterprise

An SME is a company or organization with fewer than 250 employees.

While this is how it is defined in the United Kingdom, in the European Union, a company can be classified as an SME if its annual turnover is less than €50 million. Its balance sheet total is less than €43 million.

Smooth Call Arrival

Calls that arrive in a regular pattern over some time. Incoming environments are almost non-existent.

Social Customer Service

The practice of extending a company’s existing service platform to include social media channels is known as social customer service.

Speech Recognition

A voice processing system’s ability to decipher spoken words and phrases.


A sudden and dramatic increase in inbound contact volume is referred to as a “spike.” It’s commonly thought to be a one-time occurrence that lasts a few hours, but spikes can last for days or weeks.

Special Response Team (SRT)

A SRT is a team of engineers who can be dispatched in the event of an emergency.

On the other hand, SRT can be used as a short-term solution for a contact center’s second-line group that deals with unusual situations (e.g. VIP Escalations, Premium Customers, etc.).

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

SOPs are a set of guidelines developed by contact centers to address common processes and procedures, such as:

  • How calls are scored for quality
  • How to deal with complaints
  • How to schedule staff

SOPs are created in WFM to provide a process to follow when the contact center’s contact volumes reach a significant peak or trough.


The person in charge of a group of agents on the front lines. One supervisor to every 10-15 agents is a typical ratio.

On the other hand, help desks may have one supervisor per five people, and some reservations centers may have one supervisor per 30 or 40 agents.

Supervisors are typically equipped with special telephones and computer terminals to keep track of agent activity. Team Manager or Team Leader are other terms for the same thing.


T1 Circuit

A high-speed digital circuit with a bandwidth of 1.544 megabits per second that can be used for voice, data, or video. T1 circuits provide the equivalent of twenty-four (24) analogue voice trunks.

Talk Time

The time it takes an agent to handle a customer call from beginning to end.


Using telecommunications to work from home or elsewhere rather than at the company’s headquarters.

Telephone Service Factor

See Service Level.

Telephone Service Representative (TSR)

A TSR is similar to a Customer Service Representative (CSR) with one exception. A TSR will only handle phone calls, whereas a CSR may also handle emails, chats, letters, and other communication forms.

Telephony Applications Programming Interface (TAPI)

Microsoft and Intel created the CTI protocol.

Telephony Services Application Programming Interface (TSAPI)

Novell and AT&T collaborated on the CTI protocol.


The telephone set used by a call center agent. It often has additional features (such as log on) than a standard telephone set.

Aspect coined the term TeleSet, but it is now widely used to refer to any agent telephone system.

Top Level Organisation (TLO)

The buying company is known as the TLO when it buys another company but does not merge.

A TLO is also referred to as a “Parent Company.”

Toll-Free Service

Callers can reach a call center outside of their local calling area free of charge. Toll-free numbers are 0800 and 800. There are also other types of toll-free services available in some countries. For example, in the United Kingdom, callers are charged local rates, and the call center is responsible for long-distance charges. See also Link Line.

Traffic Control Centre

See Network Control Centre

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

The protocols govern how sequential data is exchanged. The United States Department of Defense created TCP/IP to connect disparate computers across a variety of networks. Since then, it has become a widely accepted standard for commercial equipment and applications.

True Calls Per Hour

Actual calls are handled by an individual or group divided by occupancy for that period.

Trunk, Trunks

Not a car’s storage compartment, but a term for the telephone lines that enter a call center.

The term “trunk” could easily be replaced with “telephone line,” which is less confusing.


This is one of the more perplexing jargon uses in a call center, but it refers to an agent phone set.

This term was popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but it is no longer widely used. Nowadays, the term TeleSet is commonly used.


UC – Unified Communications

The term “unified communications” refers to the blending of different types of interactions. For instance, if the initial contact was made over the phone, the response could be sent via email, etc.

  • UK Do Not Call List

In the United Kingdom, a “Do Not Call” list is divided into two categories:

  • Individuals who have enlisted the help of the Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
  • Individuals who request to be removed from your data list after making contact with you for the first time

To avoid being fined, businesses must respect the wishes of individuals in both of these categories.

Unavailable Work State

An agent work state that denotes a mode that isn’t related to handling phone calls.

Unified Desktop

A desktop application that combines multiple systems or interfaces and accepts both voice and electronic input.

A Unified Desktop can populate an underlying (CRM) system with interaction or customer data in real-time.

Uniform Call Distributor (UCD)

A straightforward system for routing calls to a group of agents and generating reports. A UCD is less advanced than an ACD.

Universal Agent

Refers to either:

  • An agent who is capable of handling a wide range of incoming calls
  • A call center representative who can take both inbound and outbound calls.


When an advisor is paid to be in the contact center, utilization (also spelled “utilization) is the percentage of time that they are either assisting or available to assist with customer activity.



Verbatim Feedback

Customer comments, not scores, are captured in verbatim feedback, also known as open feedback.


A voice bot is similar to a chatbot, but it is activated by voice.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol

VoIP is a method of delivering a voice channel as packets over the internet using a pre-existing streaming (CODEC) format, such as H.225 or H.323 (see also SIP).

Voice over IP (VoIP)

This term refers to various techniques for encoding and transmitting voice over an IP network, such as an internal ethernet or the internet.

Voice Processing

Voice Mail, Automated Attendant, Audiotex, Voice Response Unit (VRU), and Faxback are examples of voice-processing technologies that fall under this umbrella term.

Voice Response Unit (VRU)

IVR (Interactive Voice Response Unit) and ARU (Audio Response Unit) are two terms for the same thing (ARU).

In the same way that a traditional computer responds to keystrokes or mouse clicks, a VRU responds to caller entered digits or speech recognition.

Callers can interact with databases to check current information (e.g. account balances) and complete transactions when the VRU is integrated with database computers (e.g. make transfers between accounts). Look up Voice Processing (above).

Virtual Call Centre

A collection of call centers that serves as a single point of contact for call handling and reporting.


The process of combining a number of different processes or systems to create a single service offering.

Visible Queue

When callers are aware of the length of the queue they have just entered and the rate at which it is moving (e.g. they hear a system announcement that relays the expected wait time). An invisible queue can be found here.


WAH – Work at Home

WAH stands for a contact center employee who works from home rather than in the contact center building.

These workers are referred to as “Remote Agents.”


In the physical location of a call center, electronic displays are used to give management and agents a view of their own team’s performance.

Key performance indicators, such as service level or call queueing, can be displayed on wallboards in real-time.

Wallboards are hotly debated in the industry as to whether they are good or bad for agent morale.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

An intra-office data network that connects terminals, computers, and equipment from different locations.

WFM – Workforce Management

WFM refers to the process of determining and delivering schedules, forecasting, and adherence for a workforce based on previous interaction volumes and anticipated future events.

Workforce Management (WFM) Software

Software systems that forecast call volume calculate staffing requirements organize schedules, and track individual and group performance in real-time, depending on available modules.

Workforce Optimisation (WFO)

The process of generating schedules and forecasts based on previous and anticipated interaction and workflow volumes.

Wrap-Up Time (or Wrap Time)

Wrap-Up Time, also known as Wrap Time, is the time spent by an agent doing After-Call Work (ACW) after an interaction has ended.

Wrap-Up Codes

Wrap-up codes, also known as “disposition codes” or “call codes,” are a quick way to summarize key information about an interaction.

There are currently no definitions that begin with the letter “X.”

Send an email to the Callhounds Global newsdesk if you have any you’d like us to include.

There are currently no definitions that begin with the letter “X.”

Send an email to the Callhounds Global newsdesk if you have any you’d like us to include.


ZTP – Zero Tolerance Policy

ZTP is a policy that prohibits an organization from engaging in certain behaviors or possessing certain items that it deems unacceptable.

It can also be viewed as a code of conduct that, if disobeyed, will result in some form of retaliation.

Zip Tone

See Beep Tone.