Call Center Glossary Terms

For all those who plan to and are in the Call Center industry it is important to be familiar with the call center glossary terms. These are very basic terms which people may be afraid to ask.

Sl. No. Terminology Explanation
1 Abandoned Call A call terminated by the caller prior to being answered
2 Abandoned Call Rate A measurement of abandoned calls usually expressed as a percentage of total calls received.
3 ACD – Automatic Call Distributor A telephone system that distributes calls to agents according to predefined business rules.
4 ACW – After Call Work The time taken by an agent to complete the transaction after the caller hangs up, is also referred to Wrap up time
5 Adherence to Schedule Refers to the adherence of staff to their rosters or hours of work.
6 Agent The person who handles the call
7 AHT – Average Handling Time The average time taken to handle a call, can include actual talk time and after call work.
8 ASA – Average Speed of Answer A measurement expressing the time taken for a call to be answered either by an agent or Auto Attendant.
9 Auto Attendant A telephony facility that routes calls according to the selections made by the caller pressing the keys on the telephone.
10 Availability A measurement covering an agent who is available to handle the next call.
11 Blending A process where individual agents are able to operate across multiple function calls at the one time i.e. an agent that processes inbound service calls and outbound sales during their shift.
12 Call Demand Estimated number of calls that are expected to be received by the centre.
13 CLI- Call Line Identification An ISDN facility that displays the callers number.
14 Cold Calling Telemarketing to prospects with whom there is no established relationship.
15 Cost per Call A measurement of the financial cost of each call, usually calculated by the centre costs being divided by the number of calls received.
16 CRM – Customer Relationship Management A process that records customer contacts and information to allow for an enhanced relation with the customer.
17 CSR – Customer Service Representative An alternative name for an agent
18 CTI – Computer Telephony Integration A function that provides for the telephony and customer information to be aligned. This allows for such functions as screen popping.
19 Erlang C A formula used in centres to calculate staff needs based upon historical call trend data.
20 FCR – First Call Resolution A measurement of the number of calls that are resolved during the first contact with the caller.
21 FTE – Full Time Equivalent An expression of staff numbers calculated on the number of hours a full time staff member would work.
22 Intelligent Routing The routing of calls through predefined business rules that are based upon the expected characteristics of the caller.
23 IVR – Interactive Voice Response A system that interacts with callers using predetermined menus and telephone key input, or speech recognition software.
24 Logged On Where an agent is logged into the phone system
25 Mystery Shopping Where performance is measured through the use of dummy calls, usually conducted by a third party.
26 Occupancy A measurement of the time actually spent by an agent handling calls against the total time available
27 PABX – Private Automatic Branch Exchange the switch which manages calls with an organization.
28 Predictive Dialler A system that automatically initiates outbound calls and presents the call to an agent on connection to a called party.
29 Queue A bank of calls waiting for an agent to become available.
30 Roster A schedule of time to be worked.
31 Scorecard A group of performance indicators that reflect the operations of the centre.
32 Shrinkage An allocation of time from rosters that accounts for unscheduled breaks, i.e. unplanned leave
33 Talk Time Measurement of time that an agent spends talking to callers.
34 Thru Call Per Hour The actual number of calls handled by an agent in an hour
35 UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply Systems in place that cover normal power supplies i.e. battery, generators.
36 Voice Response Use of a pre-recorded message to answer incoming calls
37 VOIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol System that enables voice calls to be carried over a data network.


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