Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary

Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary


Today I will introduce you to some of the Terminology used in the Call Center industry, the topic is very vast nevertheless I have tried to cover maximum and frequent Call Center Terminology used in the industry.

Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary
Call Center Dictionary

This Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary will surely help you to enhance your knowledge if you are from Call Center, BPO, Customer service, or from Retail Industry.

Irrespective of the industry you are working in, there are some specific shortcodes or Technical words used for interaction between the professionals of the same trade which is unknown for others, also if you are a novice in the industry you will take time to adapt these technical words.

In Call Center industry to enhance your skills and expertise it is must that you should be aware of the frequently used  Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary 

This dictionary is not just for knowledge but many times abbreviations and explanations of these technical worlds have been asked in interviews.

Without further ado let’s start the topic Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary.

We will start alphabetically with the

Letter “A”

1. Abandoned: As the name implies it indicates the number of calls that are disconnected after waiting in the queue before it connected to the agent.
 Incall Center for the precise calculation of abandoned calls, there is a threshold decided by every client in agreement which is mostly in seconds 

Calculation: (No of Calls answered / No of Calls offered)*100

2. ACD (Automatic Call Distributor): A phone system to handle specifically inbound calls and route them to the agents trained in particular trade

3. ACW (After Call Work): This is also known as "Wrap Time". ACW is Time taken by the agent after ending the phone call or chats with a customer. This time includes time taken in writing comments, tagging the call or chat, and finally disposing of the call to get the next one.

4.Adherence: In Call Center industry adherence terms is used for Shift Adherence, Break Adherence, etc., which means to follow the shift timings or break timings as per the predefined rule, exceeding the timings can lead to punishment.

5.APR (Agent Performance Report): Report which shows the agents' performance on different parameters like Calls taken by the agent, AHT, ACW, and Log in hrs. This report is very important to gauge the agent's performance.

6 Attrition: Attrition is calculated in percentage, which indicates % of agents absconded from the organization during the month. It includes both voluntary and involuntary attrition

Calculation: Count of agent left the organization/ Avg of (Opening +Closing headcount) *100

Voluntary Attrition means the agents have served the notice or have informed in advance to the company about their resignation.

Involuntary Attrition means agents absconded from the company without any prior intimation to supervisor

3.Automatic Dialer: A machine that dials the numbers without any manual action as per the data fed by the dialer team. This is a time-saving invention and can be relied upon. This is an advance tool in modern Call center Industry for hassle-free operations

4. Average Handling Time: The time taken by one call center agent to completely end one call which includes talk time, Hold Time and wrap time)

Calculation: Time (Talk Time +Hold Time + Wrap Time)/ Number of calls taken in a day

5 Average Talk Time: This is the measure of time taken by an agent on a phone call with the customer. While calculating average talk time we do not include, hold time and after-call work.

Letter “B”

“B2B “: The abbreviation is “Business to Business” means the contact between two enterprises by the medium of Inbound or outbound calls. Here no customer involves in this communication

“B2C “This term is used for “Business to Customer “which means the contact between one enterprise and an individual customer happens through the inbound or outbound medium.

Blended Process or Blended Call Center: A process or call center which handles various contact types which includes inbound, outbound, email chats, back-office, and others.

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing):

The abbreviation is Business Process Outsourcing also commonly known as Call Center.

BPO term can be used interchangeably with Call Center, however, there is a minute difference between Call Center and BPO 

BPO, unlike Call Centers, handles back-office operations for accounting, Banking, and others, while Call Centers only handles telephone calls.

For detailed information about BPO and the reason why BTech graduates are moving to BPO  read the below article “

Letter “C”

Call Center: A facility that offers inbound /outbound calls, email, chats platform to handle the query, or to offer services to its customers. 

For detail information about Call Center, Types of Call center click on the below link:

Contact Center: A facility which handles all forms of communications apart from calls, that is email, chat, Social media

Chat Bot:

Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary
 A kind of computer programming to reply or to provide information to customers but on a limited subject, Chatbots work like a virtual agent and used mostly for live chat processes in the e-commerce industry.

Cold Calling: Call generated by a call center agent anonymously from a list of data point for sales purpose or lead generation

CSAT (Customer Satisfaction): A measure of how many customers are satisfied and happy with the product or a specific brand post using their services 

There are different ways to calculate CSAT but the most common is :

 Formula: Number of satisfied customer/number of the survey sent *100 

Letter “D”

Dashboard: A one view display where we can see all the indicators to check customer’s overall profile, activities and details

Letter “E”:         
Erlang C: This is a mathematical calculation used in the call center is to project the manpower and roster planning as per the call volume and service level that you want to achieve The Formula was named after the mathematician A.K, Erlang

Escalation: Is an issue raised by the customer but not under the purview of an agent to take action, hence the escalation will be taken by the supervisor

Empathy: This is an important quality parameter comes under soft skills which shows the ability of one agent put themselves into the customer’s shoes which is an important skill in the customer service industry to keep the customer tied with the brand

Letter “F”:

Fatal: Fatal refers to the fatal call in a call center and indicates the score zero "0" in Cal Quality, which means an agent has not followed the SOP of quality or he has misguided the customer.

FCR (First Call Resolution): The resolution provided to the customer in the first call or first chat is known as First Call/Chat Resolution. In a Call Center higher the First Call Resolution is less your repeat customer percentage which results in less queue time for customers 

Forecasting: Forecasting term in call center used to project Inflow Call Volume in the coming week or month, after analyzing the previous volume trends 

FTE (Full Time Employee): Full-Time employee is equal to the headcount of one agent who is working full time, means 2 agents if doing half-day it will count as 1 FTE

Letter “H"

Help Desk: This term in call center refers to a set up for handling customer’s queries. The help desk is the first point of contact for customers. A help desk is also known as a support center 

Handled Calls: Means the calls attended by an agent in a particular period, While calculating handled calls we do not count abandoned calls in the count 

Letter “I”

Inbound Call Center: means a call center facility which receives only incoming communication through call or mail, By this setup,only Customer can connect with agents and agents cannot make outcall  

Idle time: This time refers to the duration in which the agent is not receiving calls or tickets, which means the agent is ready to take the call but due to no or less incoming volume agent is not receiving calls.

Idle time does not include break time or training time

IVR (Interactive voice response): This is computerized automated set up which gives a robotic response to the customer to assist him in reaching the right queue
IVR asks the customer to press the specific button to select the service he is looking for.

Letter “K”

 KPI (Key Performance Indicator): This term is commonly known as metrics.KPI is a measure of a particular call center or project’s performance as per the agreement. 
Hence Poor KPI performance can result in a business penalty as well

Letter “M”

MIS(Management Information System): A system which provides all the required report to the Call Center Operations to analyze the data and performance 

Monitoring: Term refers to Real-Time Monitoring means to check the agent’s activity on the system with the help of different software and applications

Letter “O”:

Occupancy: Agent Occupancy is a measure of how much time the agent was involved in assisting customers, which includes Talk time, hold time, and after-call work. Standard occupancy in call centers is between 85-90%

Calculation: Average Handling Time (Talk time +Hold time + ACW )/Total Logged in time)*100 

Outbound Call center: The call center set up which allows outcall to customers for any feedback, survey, sales and lead generation by an agent is known as Outbound Call Center 

Outsourcing: In association with the enterprise the participation of a third party (BPO ) in Call Center activities i.e call, live chat, emails and back office to promote the brand or to handle the queries customers called outsourcing a business

Letter “P”

PIP(Performance Improvement Plan): A Plan of action  implemented to nonperformer agents to improve their performance in a specified time frame to avoid an exit from the system

Predictive Dialler: This dialer is used to manage outbound calls, in this set up the dialer automatically dials the number of a customer and when the customer answers the phone then only it will be connected to an agent.

This dialer mostly used to increase the occupancy and productivity of agents and to consume the data point at a higher rate 

Progressive Dialler: This dialer is used to manage outbound calls, in this set up the dialer automatically dials the number of a customer and you can hear the ring sound of the customer’s phone, unlike the Predictive dialer.

This dialer is used mostly for the customer who does not pick up the call or you can say to consume the non-contactable data.

Preview Dialer: The dialer set up in which an agent can see the preview of next call and dial the same as per the wish, in few cases, they can also skip the call in case they are not willing to dial the number  

PRI (Primary rate interface): PRI are lines connected to the dialer,A bundle of PRI has a unique phone number through which customer can get connected to call center

Letter “Q”

Queue: This term mostly used in Inbound Call Centers. As the word refers Queue time is the waiting time of customers to connect with some customer service representative for any service related queries.

Quality: In Call Center ‘quality’ term indicates the call quality. To gauge the Call Quality and agent’s performance on quality parameter there is a team of quality auditors to share the feedback on time to avoid poor customer service

Letter “R”

Response time: Is the time taken by the agent to respond to customers. In Chat process, First response time is very important to greet the customer and start interacting

Remote agents: Agents who are working from home or remote location are called Remote agents

Rostered Staff: The staff that is planned for a particular day as per the client requirement and incoming volume trend is called rostered staff

RNP (Rewards and Penalty): A contractual agreement between the client and Call Center on specific parameters wherein if call center performs better in mentioned parameters will get Rewards else if the performance is poor penalty would be levied

Letter “S”

Screen Monitoring: A system feature that enables the operation team to monitor the call center agent from a remote location.

SOP (Standard Operating Procedure): The set guideline mentioned in the agreement under which the different departments like quality, training, operation performs to avoid any conflict.

SLA (Service Level Agreement): A contract between the service provider (Client) and Call Center to achieve certain Key Performance Indicators

Supervisor: Commonly known as floor supervisor who assists agents for any support, also take escalation chats and calls whenever required.

Shrinkage: Shrinkage in Call Center means the agents who are not present today but aligned for that particular day

Calculation: (No of agent absent /No. of agent rostered )*100 

Letter “T”

Toll-Free Number: As the word sounds these numbers are without charges and mostly used in the e-commerce and banking sector. Due to its free charges customer needs to wait in queue for a longer time

Trunk/Trunks: Trunk or Trunks in Call Center refers to the telephone line plugged into the dialer

Team Leader: Often termed as floor supervisor, is the person who handled the team of 15-20 agents normally, and manages the roster, leaves of the team and accountable for the team’s performance 

Letter “U”

Utilization: Agent utilization means how much time the agent was available in front of the work station. Unlike “Occupancy we calculate the “Idle “time in Utilization

Letter “V”

Voice Process: The process in which communication between the customer and an associate can take place only through voice is called voice process. Voice Process can be of Inbound and Outbound

Letter “W”

Warning Letter: Post Verbal warning the letter issued to a nonperformer agent mentioning the consequences if there is no improvement in performance,

WFM (Work Force Management): The Body or Team which is dedicatedly aligned to forecast the call volume, for real-time monitoring and sharing the required data to operations

Wrap up time: This term is also known as “ACW” which has already explained above

Letter "Z"
ZTP (Zero Tolerance Policy): A policy under which some certain instances are non-tolerable i.e Abusive or profane language to customer, behavior issue by agent, physical abuse in the organizationThis policy varies from office to office 

So, readers, these are some useful Call Center Terminology, Abbreviations, and Dictionary. Please share the feedback through comments in case some abbreviation  missed 

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