The contact center glossary defines the most common vocabulary, measurements, metrics, and phrases related to call center software and the field of customer experience.

Abandoned call – occurs when a caller hangs up before an agent answers the call or in the middle of conversation with an agent. Also see call abandonment rate.

Adherence – measures utilization and accuracy of agents in accordance with their individual work schedule. Adherence is not one size fits all and can be defined per company’s request.

Agent – an individual in a direct communication with clients through various inbound and outbound channels

Agent utilization – metric used in contact centers. How to calculate it: calls answered within the first minute/total number of calls.

Analytical reporting – business reports which include data analysis that help companies and key stakeholders to identify possible business opportunities or problems.

Application Programming Interface (API) – code or a set of rules that enables a connection, data transmission and communication between two computers or applications. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – computer simulation of human intelligence that has the ability to learn from experience.

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) – technology that enables a person to communicate with a computer using only their voice.

Automatic Contact Distributor (ACD) – telephony system that automatically distributes calls to available agents, IVR or to specific groups based on predefined rules.

Auto callback – a feature that allows the caller to choose the most convenient time to get a call back, so they don’t need to wait in line. It also works for missed calls if the caller tried to reach the company outside business hours.

Auto dialer – feature when software dials telephone numbers for agents.

Auto Number Identification (ANI) – a feature in telephony systems that determines telephone origination number and connects the caller with a phone number.

Average Handle Time (AHT) – this is a metric used in contact centers for talk, hold, and follow-up time divided by the total number of calls. It measures the average length of a customer’s call.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) – cloud computing platform provided by Amazon.


Business Process Management (BPM) – is a practice of building optimal business process management that is optimized, designed, analyzed, monitored, and executed. It helps to make your business more cost and time efficient.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) – is a form of business externalization to another company.


Call abandonment rate – is a metric calculation that helps you measure success of your customer service. Standard abandonment rate is between 5-8%. 

Call center – is a customer service department where agents handle support, sales, or customer inquiries via telephone.

Call logging – is tracking, evaluation, reporting and analysis of all incoming and outgoing calls. Logs can include date, time, length, origin, destination.

Call recorder – feature that enables you to record calls and save them. It can be automatic or manual. 

Call time – it marks the length of time a caller is on a call with an agent. 

Chatbot – is a program or an application that uses predefined answers based on machine learning or AI. It simulates human conversation through text, text-to-speech, or voice interactions. 

Client Management System – software that allows you to track and optimize all interactions with your clients through a single platform from lead to closure and loyalty and service maintenance. It is used by sales, marketing, customer service, and help desks.

Co-browse – feature that enables an agent and customer to operate on the same web page in real-time. It allows faster problem solving since the agent can see the customers page and offer personalized guidance.

Compliance – is an act of being in accordance with a certain set of guidelines, specifications, or rules.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) – cloud-based contact center solution that enables omnichannel communication. CCaaS reduces operational cost for a company because the service subscription can be paid monthly or annually.

Contact center – central department where customer service professionals interact with customers across various channels. Contact center can be cloud based or on-premise.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) – is a software technology that allows all functionalities of the phone to be done with the computer. It doesn’t require a landline phone for implementation. 

Customer Effort Score (CES) – is a customer experience metric that accounts for the ease of customer interaction with your company. It is measured by asking one question where the customers mark how much they agree with the statement (ex. How easy was the communication with an agent?) on Likert scale.

Customer Experience (CX) – is defined by all interactions of your customers with your company/brand. It includes all channels, touchpoints, activities, and communication through the customer life cycle. 

Customer Feedback – is all information, insight, and experience from your customer about the quality of your service or product.

Customer Journey Management – process your customers take when they interact with your company. 

Customer Journey Optimization - It includes analysis and improvement of all touchpoints across customers journey from awareness to loyalty on digital channels or via in-person interaction.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – a metric of total amount revenue a business can earn from a single customer over time. How to calculate it: CLV = customer revenue – the cost of acquiring and serving that customer.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT or C-SAT) – customer experience metric that measures how satisfied they are with the service you provided. How is it calculated: sum of all positive responses/the total responses collected x 100.

Customer Service – all interactions between your business and your customers. 

Customer Support – specific type of customer service that includes documentation, technical problem solving, product feedback.

Customer survey – a process of collecting customer’s feedback. Examples of customer surveys: NPS, CSAT, CES, visual rating survey, questioner…


Dashboard – graphical user interface that shows statistics and information about certain progress or performance. 

Database – collection of organized data and information that is stored and accessed electronically. 

Debt collection – process of collecting and pursuing payments of debts.

Direct Inward Dialing (DID) – also known as direct dial-in is a telecommunication service offered by telephone companies and it allows your business to assign personal virtual numbers to each employee. 

Document Management System (DMS) – automated software that is used to secure, approve, digitize, store, manage, track, and receive documents.


Escalation – in a contact center escalation is a method of forwarding a certain issue from an agent to a higher level to supervisor or some more proficient agent.


First Contact Resolution (FCR) – a metric of contact center success rate in solving a customers’ inquiry during first interaction. How to calculate it: resolved incident on first contact/total incidents x 100.

Forecasting – a process of predicting based on past and present data.


Graphical user interface (GUI) – interactive visual components of computer software.


Hold Time – total amount of time a customer spends waiting to connect with an agent.

Hosted contact center – solution when contact center software is installed or hosted by an off-site server.


Incident management – process of IT service management (ITSM) and first priority is to restore a normal service operation. It consists of a series of steps taken to identify, analyze and correct hazards and prevent future occurrence. 

Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) – an intelligent automated system technology that allows callers to 

Integrated Experience – experience that includes communication across every channel: phone, chat, email, SMS, social media, video…—use Live to provide agents with a complete history of customer interactions and queries.

ITSM – IT service management


Journey mapping – interactive visual process that helps you identify bottlenecks in customer journey.


Knowledge Management System (KMS) – central repository platform that helps you gather and collect knowledge so you can have quicker onboarding, issue solving and knowledge sharing. 

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – contact center performance metric captured in reports.


Logs – records of occurrences that mark details like time stamps related to what happened in a certain computer system.


Multichannel – defined as fusion of both virtual and physical channels.


Natural language speech recognition (NLSR) – advanced form of speech recognition that enables customers to perform a variety of self-transactions just by speaking into their phone.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) – metric that is used to evaluate customer perception of your company/brand and can predict revenue growth or decline, loyalty, and churn. How to calculate: % of promoters - % of detractors.


Omnichannel contact center – software that handles all inbound and outbound communication across multiple integrated channels. A customer can start communication via email and seamlessly transfer to telephone. Complete customer journey is recorded and shared in a single platform.

Omnichannel customer experience – personalized experience because every interaction with a company is connected and tracked across all channels.

Outbound call center – contact center that makes mostly outbound calls usually for sales purposes.

Outbound IVR – technology that is used to send proactive outbound messages.


Predictive Dialer – an app that is used to initiate a large number of outbound calls at the same time. It predicts agent availability and transfers any connected contacts to live agents.

Proxy server – gateway between a client requesting a resource and the server providing.

Problem management – process of identifying and managing the causes of incidents and it’s a core component of ITSM. Primary goal of problem management is to prevent incidents from happening.


Quality Monitoring (QM) – a measure that makes sure all touch points with customer is in touch with across the company are consistent.

Queue – virtual line where customers wait to be connected to an agent.


Return on Investment (ROI) – is a ratio between net income and investment value. How to calculate: net income/cost of investment.


SaaS (software as a service) – licensing and delivery model where software is licensed based on monthly or annual subscription. Cloud provider hosts apps and makes them available to end-users.

Server – high powered computer that provides service to another computer and their users. It is built to store, manage and process network data, systems and devices.

Service level management – practice based on ITSM and ITIL that ensures timely monitoring, customization and measuring of all agreed terms, targets and priorities.

Scheduling – in terms of contact center it refers to workforce management and optimization, planning of work time and all activities. 

Screen Recording – recording of everything that's happening on the agent's screen while they interact with the customer. This is done for educational and quality assessment purposes. 

Shrinkage – metric that refers to workshop management. It's the work time that agents are paid for but they are not available for interactions with customers.

Skill-Based Routing (SBR) – call assignment strategy that transfers calls to the most suitable agents for that specific inquiry. 

Softphone – VoIP software technology that enables contact centers to make and receive calls over the internet without needing any hardware. 

Supervisor – person who oversees and manages a team or an individual to make sure they are performing efficiently. 

Survey – research method to collect data from your target group.

System Administrator – IT professional responsible for configuring, managing, upkeep and reliability of company’s systems.

Switch – telephone exchange that connects two or more digital voice circuits based on dialed numbers or some other criteria.


Talk time – metric that measures total amount of time an agent spends talking to a customer. It includes hold time and conference time.

Text-to-Speech (TTS) – voice processing system reader that converts text to spoken words using speech synthesis. 

Trunk – link between phone and switching systems.


Upsell when a sales representative encourages customers to buy, upgrade or include add-ons to the product or service they're buying.


Voice authentication - biometric verification of a customers’ voice for authorization or access. 

Voice of customer (VOC) - research that captures, analyzes, and stores customer feedback in order to have valuable insights.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – method to make and receive calls over the internet.


Wrap Time – it refers to a time that the agent is using the following end of the communication with the customer to complete administrative tasks.

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