Contact Center Glossary

Call Center, Contact Center, and Customer Experience Vocabulary Defined

The contact center glossary defines the most common vocabulary, measurements, metrics, and phrases related to call center software and the field of customer experience. It’s a comprehensive list of all the need-to-know terminology every contact center team can use to effectively communicate. Each index definition provides clarity around the meaning of a particular term used within the industry.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

A

Contact Center Abandon - This term refers to an inbound contact that waited to be connected but ended communication before being transferred. In outbound contacts, this term refers to an occurrence in which the predictive dialer ends communication because the system or agent was unable to connect.

Account Contact Management - Account contact management refers to specific information identifying a customer account.

Administrator - Call center administrators are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a call center.

ActiveX Controls - A feature set within a web page that allows for interactive functionality.

Advanced Call Center Technologies - Term that describes modern technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), that has transformed the way we communicate and how call centers deliver customer service.

ACD (Automatic Contact Distributor) - An ACD is a specialized omnichannel routing engine that distributes inbound contacts to agents based on customer need and agent skill set, ensuring that customer requests are resolved with self-service or elevated to qualified agents in the most efficient manner.

Agent - An individual who handles the customer interaction resulting from inbound and/or outbound contact. See related: Customer Service Representative (CSR).

Contact Center Agent Coaching - Agent coaching is a quality management and/or performance activity in which you provide agents with feedback, examples, and activities to complete to help them improve their skillset.

Agent Elevation - See related: Escalation.

AI for Business - AI for business is artificial intelligence that is infused throughout an organization so that all key stakeholders - from employees to customers - can benefit from smarter technology.

Contact Center Agent Experience - The experience of a contact center agent resulting from a customer interaction, and improved through agent coaching, skills training, and Workforce Optimization.

Agent Occupancy - Occupancy is a workforce management metric that shows the percentage of time agents are actively engaged in interaction handling activities compared to their total time logged in.

Agent Reports - A performance report providing statistical insights related to an individual agent’s average handle time, unavailable time, call log, etc.

Agent Desktop - An agent desktop is a software application that provides contact center agents with all the information they need to perform their customer-facing job functions.

Contact Center Agent Self-Evaluations - Agent self-evaluations or self-assessments are a quality management activity in which agents evaluate and score their own interactions using the same evaluation form that another evaluator would use.

Agent Utilization - Agent utilization is a workforce management metric that indicates agent productivity.

Analog - The process of taking audio signals, like voice, and translating them into electronic pulses.

Contact Center Analytics - Tools that analyze data points, make correlations, reveal insights, and report on trends to help a contact center or business improve operations.

Application - A tool, service, or capability that enables the system within your contact center to identify, respond to, route, and track interactions.

Application Programming Interface (API) - A set of functions and procedures allowing developers to create applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.

Auto Dialer - More commonly referred to as a Dialer, this technology automates the process of making calls from an outbound contact center. Dialers can offer advanced functionality, scripting, and reporting. See related: Predictive Dialer.

Automatic Callback - When all lines are busy or all agents unavailable, this contact center technology allows the customer to instruct the system to return their call when an agent becomes available within a specified amount of time or to indicate a preferred time for callback.

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) - A service that transmits the phone number of the caller for quicker customer identification. Also referred to as Calling Line Identification (CLID) or Caller ID (CID).

Architecture - Call center architecture is an integrated framework of software and hardware components used to manage customer service and support operations.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the context of Contact Center AI (Artificial Intelligence) represents a significant advancement in how customer service operations can be optimized through technology. 

Automation - Technology built to assume control of processes previously performed by humans to boost efficiency and reliability and empower customers to self-serve.

Avatars - Avatars are a fun and important element of gamification! Using avatars as part of your gamification program let agents create and customize a graphical representations of their character and persona.

Automated Outbound Calling - Automated outbound calling is a process that call centers use to increase agent efficiency when making outbound calls.

Average Hold Time (AHLDT) - The average amount of time contacts spend “on hold.”

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) - Technology that processes and responds to spoken language commands. See related: Natural Language Understanding, Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

AHT - Want to learn about Contact Center Average Handle Time (AHT)? Find out what it is, how it's calculated, and why it's important in customer service.

B

Back Office Optimization - Streamlining back-office workforce functions for maximum efficiency and optimal alignment with front-office services in the contact center to improve customer experience and agent experience. See related: Workforce Optimization (WFO).

Banking CX - refers to the collective efforts aimed at making every customer feel valued during their interactions with a bank. It encompasses the customer's perception and experiences accumulated throughout their journey.

Blended Agent - A contact center agent who handles inbound and/or outbound customer interactions across multiple voice, web, and digital channels.

Bot - A bot is a piece of software that automates tasks that humans would otherwise perform. See related: Chatbot.

Bulk Text Messaging - Bulk text messaging is a marketing strategy that involves creating and sending out a text message to a large list of people.

Contact Center Business Optimization - The process of measuring efficiency, productivity, and performance to highlight areas for improvement and ensure success within a business.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) - Outsourcing specific operations to a third-party provider. The third-party provider is known as the Business Process Outsourcer.

Business-to-Business (B2B) - Refers to marketplace transactions between businesses.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) - Refers to marketplace transactions between businesses and consumers.

Byte - A unit of data that is eight binary digits long, used by most computers to represent a character such as a letter, number, or symbol.

Call Barging - Instead, call barging is a call monitoring capability that should be offered by your contact center software solution. Specifically, it allows contact center managers to drop in on live calls between agents and customers.

BPO Services - BPO Services- refer to the practice of contracting non-core business functions to a third-party provider. These functions may include tasks such as customer service, accounting, human resources, and IT support.

BPO Technology - BPO Technology- refers to the set of software, hardware, and communication tools used by Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) service providers to deliver their services. These technologies are designed to enhance operational efficiency, productivity, quality, and scalability of BPO services.

Bulk SMS Sender - A bulk SMS sender is an application that allows users to send out text blasts to communicate to customers.

C

21st Century Integrated Digital Experience - a set of standards established by the US federal government to improve citizen digital experience with government services. The 21st Century IDEA was signed into law in 2018 as part of the Modernizing Government Technology Act.

Call Center (Inbound Call Center, Outbound Call Center) - An operation where a large volume of calls is handled on behalf of an organizational division (e.g., Customer Service, Sales, Support). See related: Contact Center.

Call center agent scorecard - A tool for measuring and monitoring quality assurance (QA) and performance metrics for individual agents.

Call center agent software - Often called the agent desktop or agent workspace, when done right brings the processes and capabilities of newer call center software technology to a unified portal for call center agents.

Call center agent utilization - The ratio of an agent’s productivity to their capacity.

Call center coaching - A quality management activity to provide call center agents with feedback, examples, performance assessments, and best-practice activities to help improve the skillset needed for their role.

Call Center CRM (Call Center Customer Relationship Management) - Technology that provides call center employee access to customer data and interaction information to further personalize the customer experience. See related: Contact Center CRM.

Call Center Management - The policies, procedures, and tools used to manage operations, employees, and interactions within a call center. See related: Contact Center Management.

Outsourcing Call Center - Outsourcing Call Center- refers to the practice of using a third-party provider's software solutions to manage a company's customer service or support calls. This allows the company to focus on its core operations while benefiting from the expertise and cost savings of a specialized call center provider.

Call Center Reporting - The tracking and presentation of key performance indicators (KPIs) and planned metrics on call center activities and individual call center agent performance.

Call center service level - A percentage measurement of how well standards are met for customer service.

Call center software - A collection of applications that support customer service operations.

Call Center Workforce Optimization - A strategy to improve call center workforce management and planning through a series of forecasting, scheduling, quality management, training, and reporting tools. See related: Contact Center Workforce Optimization.

Call Center Workforce Planning - Call center workforce planning is the process of forecasting staffing needs based on anticipated volume or other business drivers, then ensuring everything is in place to hire, train, schedule, and manage the required agent team. See related: Call Center Workforce Optimization.

Call Detail Report (CDR) - A call detail report is a comprehensive report on every contact managed by a platform.

Call Distribution - When a volume of calls is dispersed by an ACD during a given time period.

Call Flow - As customer service professionals we all know that first impressions are vitally important. But what we may not all realize is just how little time we actually have to make a good one.

Call Logs - Call logging is the process of collecting, analyzing, and recording customer interaction data.

Call recorder - Known as call recording software, is contact center technology that records the contents of phone calls and may also capture agent screens.

Call Recording - The act of recording a telephone call or other audio source through an automated system in compliance with rules and regulations, then monitored for the purpose of quality management, agent performance evaluation, and workforce management.

Call Time - Refers to the length of time a caller is on an individual call with an agent. It typically includes talk time and agent-initiated hold time, but not post call wrap time. See related: Average Handle Time (AHT).

Call Volume - The number of calls or contacts made or received during a given time period.

Caller - The calling party, or customer, with whom your contact center system or agent interacts.

Capacity Planning - Enhance your contact center's performance with effective capacity planning. NICE's glossary provides a detailed explanation of techniques and tools to optimize resource utilization.

CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) - A complete, unified, cloud native contact center platform offered on a subscription basis.

Central Office - A site that houses major telecommunication devices and network access facilities for storage and operation.

Channels - Various voice and digital communication mediums that facilitate customer interactions in a contact center. See related: Omnichannel Contact Center, Omnichannel Routing.

Chat - A digital messaging application built into an organization’s contact center platform, and launched from the organization’s website, that allows a customer to communicate and receive service quickly and easily online.

Chatbot - An AI-enabled robot capable of communicating with human customers to deliver efficient service across voice and digital channels.

Citizen Customer Experience - refers to the overall interactions and experiences citizens have when engaging with government agencies and services. This includes all touchpoints such as online portals, call centers, in-person visits, and interactions with government employees.

Closed-loop Action - A closed-loop action is a Voice of the Customer (VOC) term that refers to the act of following up with customers who have provided either extremely positive or negative feedback.

Closed-loop Feedback - Closed-loop feedback is the process of acting on direct or indirect customer input collected from sources such as customer surveys, contact center interactions, and social media comments.

Closed-loop Survey - A closed-loop survey is a device within a closed-loop feedback process that collects customer input.

Cloud Call Center - A cloud call center, or cloud-based call center, is one that has its call center technology hosted in the cloud and supported by a third-party vendor. See related: Cloud Contact Center.

Cloud Contact Center - A contact center powered by cloud native software (rather than on-premise hardware) to handle inbound and outbound customer interactions across multiple voice and digital channels.

Cloud Contact Center Platform - The complete, unified, cloud native system built to support multichannel or omnichannel communication between customers and agents (or self-service systems) in a manner that optimizes customer experience and agent experience.

Co-browse - A solution that enables an agent and customer to simultaneously navigate the same webpage during a voice or digital interaction.

Compliance - Abiding or conforming to rules, regulations, or laws. Can also refer to adherence to agent schedule.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) - The monitoring, controlling, and integration of a phone system with a computer system. CTI can be run from an on-premise server or made available through the cloud.

Contact Center - An operation that supports inbound and/or outbound communication between customers and agents (or self-service systems) across multiple voice and digital channels, typically for the purposes of Customer Service, Sales, or Support. See related: Call Center.

Contact Center Agent - A contact center agent, also known as a customer service representative, is the front-line employee that interacts directly with customers and assists with issues such as placing orders, resolving billing issues and answering policy questions. See related: Agent.

Contact Center Agent Workspace - Learn how a Contact Center Agent Workspace can revolutionize your customer service, with NICE's step-by-step guide to improving Quality Management.

Contact Center Campaigns - Contact center campaigns promote products and services through different types of channels, such as email, voice, SMS, and web platforms.

Contact Center CRM (Contact Center Customer Relationship Management) - Software that provides real-time agent access to customer data and previous interaction information to further personalize the customer experience. See related: Call Center CRM.

Contact Center Dashboard - A contact center dashboard is a visual display of customer data and activity. Contact center dashboards are used to provide important information at-a-glance, such as KPIs, call volumes, hold times, queue backlog, and more.

Contact Center for Government - refers to a centralized customer service operation that handles a wide range of inquiries and requests from citizens, using various channels such as phone, email, chat, and social media.

Contact Center ISO - ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization in the contact center context.

Contact Center Management - The way an organization manages operations of its contact center workforce and software to deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences across all voice and digital channels. See related: Call Center Management.

Contact Center Software - A collection of applications that automate key contact center processes.

Contact Center VoIP - Based on an IP standard that transmits voice and data on the same network. VoIP doesn’t require a dedicated connection throughout an entire call, and is often seen as a more efficient alternative to circuit-switched networks as a result.

Contact Center Workforce Optimization - A strategy to improve multichannel or omnichannel customer and agent experiences via workforce management software. These software tools can include AI-enabled forecasting, scheduling, quality management, performance management, coaching, analytics, or reporting applications. See related: Workforce Optimization (WFO).

Contact Center Workforce Planning - See related Workforce Management.

Contact Disposition - Dispositions are user-defined statuses that can be assigned to completed interactions either by an agent or by the system.

Context - A combination of identifying factors about a customer—including user identity, environmental, and process-based information—that form insights which allow an organization to deliver a relevant and optimal experience to the customer.

Cost Per Call - Cost per call (CPC) is a metric used in contact centers to measure the average cost incurred for handling a single customer phone call.

Cost Per Experience - The cost per experience curve in the contact center refers to the cost of each customer interaction.

Client Resource Management (CRM) - Client Resource Management transcends the simple management of customer data; it embodies a holistic approach to nurturing a company’s relationships with its clients, leveraging technology to gather insights, enhance customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Cross-sell - When a sales rep suggests that an existing customer would benefit from the purchase of an additional product or service.

CT Connect - A technology that allows computer applications to monitor and control telephone calls.

CTI Server - The term used to describe software that supports a computer telephony integration (CTI) platform—although it is often commonly used in reference to both the software and the hardware on which it's loaded.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) - Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a measure of how efficient a company's sales and marketing efforts are at acquiring new customers.

Customer Care - Customer care refers to the way a business treats its customers throughout the duration of the relationship.

Customer Communications - Customer communications are interactions between customers and businesses using various channels spanning digital and in-person touchpoints.

Customer Effort Score (CES) - A score based on the amount of effort a customer expends in getting their issue resolved, purchasing a product, etc.

Customer Engagement - A framework connecting multiple systems, processes, and stakeholders together to optimally engage the customer across their customer journey.

Customer Experience (CX) - Customer experience is the perception a customer has of a brand based on a collection of interactions including marketing campaigns, product use, social media presence, customer service contacts, and more.

Customer Experience BPO - Customer Experience BPO- refers to the application of outsourcing customer service functions to a third-party provider. This can include services such as inbound and outbound call handling, email and chat support, social media management, and other customer-facing activities aimed at improving the overall customer experience.

Customer Experience Chatbots - Customer experience chatbots are digital entities that assist people by simulating human interaction.

Customer Experience Financial Services - refers to the overall perception that customers have of their interactions with a financial service provider.

Customer Experience for Government - encompasses all interactions and experiences that citizens have when engaging with government services. This includes all touchpoints such as online portals, call centers, in-person services, and other channels of engagement.

customer journey - A customer experience journey, also referred to as a customer journey, is the path a customer follows while doing business with a brand.

Customer Experience Management (CEM) - An organizational strategy designed to optimize customer experience and customer engagement.

Customer Experience Metrics - Customer experience metrics are measurements of a brand's effectiveness at shaping consumer perceptions about the business. Learn more.

Customer Experience Model - A customer experience model is a framework businesses use to control the quality of the impressions their customers receive about the brand.

Customer Experience Self-Service - Self-service customer experience is the perception a person has of an organization based on a collective set of self-service transactions.

Customer Experience Software - Customer experience software is a collection of contact center applications that enable organizations to provide, manage, and improve end-to-end customer service experiences.

Transforming Customer Experience - Transforming customer experience is the process of fundamentally altering the impressions businesses make on their customers so that their customers have a higher opinion of the brand.

Customer feedback - Customer feedback is input that consumers provide to companies they do business with. It may be unsolicited - for example, a customer may file a complaint - but organizations often use structured methods to solicit and collect customer feedback.

Customer Frustration - Customer frustration is just what it sounds like - a feeling of frustration a customer experiences as a result of a negative interaction with a company.

Customer Insights - The term customer insights refers to data-driven information about consumers that informs businesses about their motivations, emotions, and preferences.

Customer intelligence - Customer intelligence (CI) is an essential strategy used by businesses to gather and analyze data about their customers, aiming to enhance interactions, foster loyalty, and ultimately drive sales. 

Customer interaction analytics - Customer interaction analytics is software that can review and assess voice recordings and transcripts from digital channels like email and chat.

Customer Journey - Describes a complete end-to-end set of experiences customers have when interacting with an organization or brand.

Customer Journey Based Design - Customer journey-based design refers to Voice of the Customer (VOC) solutions that are aligned to the customer journey and can provide insights about the many different paths customers can take as they interact with a business.

Customer Journey Management - Customer journey management uses the latest strategies and software to provide seamless and consistently exceptional omnichannel customer experiences across a customer journey.

Customer Journey Map - A visual diagram of all touchpoints within a customer journey. It can be leveraged in real time for agents to improve an experience or leveraged via analytics to identify trends that help improve the overall customer experience that is delivered.

Customer Journey Mapping Insurance - A visual representation that outlines and illustrates the various stages and touchpoints that a customer goes through when interacting with an insurance company. The map typically includes the customer's interactions during research, policy selection, purchase, claims processing, renewals, and other relevant touchpoints. Insurance customer journey maps help companies understand their customers' experiences, pain points, and opportunities for improvement, facilitating the development of strategies to enhance the overall customer experience.

Customer Journey Optimization - The process of optimizing the customer journey through mapping and management.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) - Describes the total value of a customer’s relationship to an organization over a lifetime.

Customer Loyalty - Customer loyalty is a feeling of allegiance a consumer has for a business and is usually characterized by a long-term relationship and the customer’s willingness to make ongoing purchases.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) - The customer satisfaction level, measured by how well the organization meets expectations. Typically determined through customer satisfaction surveys.

Customer Service - The support offered to customers before, during, and after their purchase.

Customer Service Message - Customer service messages are messages that agents in a call center environment can deliver to customers through email, SMS, chat, and voice.

Outsourcing Customer Service - Outsourcing Customer Service- refers to the practice of delegating customer support functions to an external service provider. This provider typically handles various aspects of customer service on behalf of the company, such as inquiries, complaints, technical issues, and more, enabling the company to focus on its core business activities while still providing high-quality customer support.

contact center customer service representative - Explore the role of a Contact Center Customer Service Representative (CSR) and understand their importance in enhancing customer experience.

Customer surveys - Customer surveys are tools organizations use to collect feedback from their customers about any number of topics. Customer surveys can take several forms, including paper-based documents that are mailed customers, digital surveys that appear after website transactions, and surveys facilitated by outbound phone agents.

CX Customer Experience - CX customer experience, typically referred to as customer experience or CX, is the opinion someone has about a business based on a collective set of impressions.

CX Software for Government - is a type of software designed to help government agencies manage citizen interactions and improve customer experience (CX). This software is designed to improve the accessibility and usability of government digital services, streamline and automate customer service workflows, and collect and analyze data related to citizen interactions.

CXi - CXi, which stands for customer experience interactions, is a holistic approach to managing all customer interactions from any starting point across the entire customer journey, regardless of whether those interactions involve the contact center.

D

Direct Dialer - Direct dialer software is a type of computer program that automates the process of making telephone calls.

Dashboard - A display of real-time communication, KPI reporting, or historical information across a screen for easy viewing by contact center employees.

Data, Call Center - Call center data is any type of data stored in a contact center. Call center data can include information such as customer accounts.

Database - An application that stores, organizes, and structures data consistently for efficient analysis.

Decibel (dB) - A unit of measurement indicating the intensity of a sound.

Detractor - A detractor is a customer that is highly dissatisfied with a business and may engage in behavior that harms the business financially.

Dialed Number Interaction Services (DNIS) - A set of digits indicating the phone number the call reached.

Dialer - A dialer automates the dialing of outbound phone calls or the sending of mass digital communications. Dialers range from basic to sophisticated in their features and functionality. See related: Auto Dialer, Predictive Dialer.

Digital - The representation or transmission of data expressed in binary code.

Digital call center - A customer service operation that provides support for its customers through digital channels such as email, chat, text (SMS), social media, and more.

Digital Messaging - A digital messaging system allows remote agents to meet customers on their platforms of choice, have personal conversations and reach successful outcomes at scale.

Digital Patient Interactions - refers to the exchange of medical information and communication between patients and healthcare providers through electronic means, such as electronic health records, telemedicine, or secure messaging. These interactions use technology to facilitate more convenient, efficient, and accessible healthcare.

Digital Retail Customer Experience - Refers to the overall experience that customers have when interacting with a retailer's digital channels, with the goal of providing a seamless, personalized, and convenient shopping experience to increase customer engagement and loyalty, and ultimately drive sales.

Direct Feedback - Direct feedback is customer input gathered by asking consumers what they think about a brand, product, customer service interaction, or other touchpoint along the customer journey.

Direct Inward Dialing (DID) - A local network service which transmits a unique set of identifying digits to the contact center.

Directed Dialog - An elementary automatic speech recognition technology that guides interaction by prompting a caller with limited phrases.

Dual Tone Multifrequency (DTMF) - A system that uses audio tones to represent digits on a keypad.

E

Echo Cancellation - Quieting a voice channel to optimize speech recognition and natural language understanding.

Ecommerce Customer Experience Software - Refers to the set of tools and technologies used by online retailers to enhance the customer experience and satisfaction with their online shopping journey through personalization, data insights, and customer support.

Education Customer Experience - refers to the interactions and overall experience that students, potential students or faculty have with an institution of learning, including communication, services, and support. It is a crucial aspect of higher education that can impact student satisfaction, retention, and recruitment.

Education Customer Experience Solutions - refer to tools, platforms, and strategies that universities and colleges can use to improve the education customer experience for their students. They are designed to help universities optimize communication, support, and services to create a positive and effective learning environment.

Education Technology - Education technology, or EdTech, refers to the use of technology to enhance teaching, learning, and student outcomes in education. It encompasses a wide range of digital tools, platforms, and resources that can be used to support and enhance the learning experience.

Employee Engagement - The level at which contact center employees are engaged in their work. See related: Agent Experience.

Employee NPS (eNPS) - Employee NPS, or Employee Net Promoter Score, is a measure of an employee’s willingness to recommend their employer as a place to work to friends and family.

Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM) - The solutions allowing an enterprise to share information in order to create value, satisfy customers and stakeholders, and increase revenue.

Escalation - The process by which a customer contact is seamlessly transferred, via omnichannel communication, to a contact center agent or supervisor for handling.

Executive Order 14058 - a mandate aimed at improving the cybersecurity of federal government networks and infrastructure, as well as protecting critical infrastructure in the private sector, through the adoption of specific requirements and provisions.

Experience Analytics - Experience analytics, also called customer experience analytics, is the systematic collection and analysis of customer perceptions as they interact with various touch points along the customer journey.

Experience Transformation - Experience transformation is a structured approach to optimizing customer experiences to make them satisfying, consistent, and free of friction.

F

First Call Resolution - See related: First Contact Resolution.

First Contact Resolution - A metric indicating the capability of a contact center to resolve a customer issue during the first interaction—eliminating the need for follow-up interactions and driving down volume of incoming contacts.

Forecasting - A workforce optimization application used to predict contact center workload and forecast agent scheduling/staffing needs. See related: Scheduling.

G

Gamification - Gamification rewards teams for staying on task, turning the best behaviors into habits. Whether winning redeemable coins, collecting badges or climbing the leaderboard.

Grammar - In the contact center, grammar refers to language used in conjunction with IVR systems that require a complete list of possible spoken responses to be programmed for recognition and stored in a grammar file.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) - A computer interface enabling on-screen navigation through menus, icons, and interactive mouse or touchscreen technology.

Guest Experience - The overall impression, feelings, and perceptions that individuals have during their interaction with a particular establishment or event, such as a hotel, restaurant, or entertainment venue. The guest experience encompasses every aspect of the customer's journey, including interactions with staff, the quality of products or services provided, the atmosphere, and any other elements that contribute to their overall satisfaction and enjoyment.

Guest Service Experience - The specific interactions and encounters that guests have with the service providers and staff members of a hospitality establishment, such as a hotel, resort, or restaurant. The guest service experience focuses on the quality of assistance, responsiveness, attentiveness, and friendliness exhibited by the staff during a guest's stay or visit. This aspect plays a significant role in shaping the overall guest experience.

H

Hardware - The on-premise, physical infrastructure of a computer or telephony system.

Hold Time - The total amount of time a contact spends in an agent-initiated hold status. See related: Average Hold Time (AHLDT).

Hosted Call Center - A hosted call center is also known as cloud call center and refers to customer engagement software solutions.

Hosted Services - Refers to contact center and call center services hosted by a network provider and delivered on-demand through the cloud. See related: Cloud Contact Center, Cloud Contact Center Platform.

I

Inbound Call - Inbound calls are those initiated by customers and received as incoming calls by agents who will help to resolve a problem or issue.

Inbound Call Center - Discover the functions and importance of an Inbound Call Center, and how it plays a pivotal role in managing customer interactions and inquiries.

Independent Software Vendor (ISV) - An organization that designs and distributes software and is not owned or controlled by a hardware manufacturer, but which often produces software that is complementary to a hardware manufacturer or seller’s products.

Indirect Feedback - Indirect feedback is customer input that a business didn’t solicit but can access for analysis.

Insurance Customer Experience - The overall collection of interactions, touchpoints, and emotions that policyholders and potential customers have while engaging with an insurance company's products, services, and support. The insurance customer experience encompasses interactions such as purchasing policies, filing claims, receiving assistance, and communicating with customer service representatives. Providing a positive insurance customer experience aims to build trust, satisfaction, and loyalty among policyholders.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) - A series of technical standards that enable digital voice, video, and data transmission services over telephone networks.

Intelligent Call Routing System - Intelligent call routing is the process of forwarding or transferring calls from one number to another using NLP.

Interaction - The touchpoint of communication between a customer and an organization on the customer’s preferred communication channel of choice. Customers can initiate and complete self-service interactions using communication channels like IVR or chatbots. Customers and organizations can also initiate live agent interactions—in which an agent representing an organization interacts directly with a customer—using human communication channels like voice or video calls.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) - A voice and call-processing option that responds to a customer’s speech, or to the digits entered by a customer. IVR allows customers to interact with an automated menu in order to enter a call queue, connect with an agent, or complete a self-service interaction by enabling them to access information easily, complete transactions, or leave messages with no agent assistance required.

Intraday Management - Intraday management is the workforce management process/activity of monitoring the current day’s volumes and trends and making changes to schedules accordingly.

Intraday Reforecasting - Intraday reforecasting allows for the contact center to reevaluate workforce management needs based on the day-of trending of volume, average handle time, and service levels.

IVR Surveys - Interactive Voice Response (IVR) surveys are automated communications with respondents over the phone.

IVR system - An automated interface that greets callers at the beginning of phone calls.

K

Knowledge Base Self Service - Using a knowledge base encourages self-service and provides while reducing agent strain by decreasing call queues.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) - A high-level measurement of contact center performance captured in reports and reviewed on a regular basis.

Knowledge Management - A knowledge management system in the contact center can change the game for agents and improve customer interactions by making information faster and easier to find.

L

Leaderboards - Leaderboards show employees where they stand compared to their peers on important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Listening Post - In customer experience management, this term defines a point in the process where companies can identify, collect, and analyze customer feedback.

Local Area Network (LAN) - A communication network linking computers or technical devices within a limited geographic area. They are often used to send data to printers, transfer data between systems on the network, send communications between users on the network, or access wider area networks (WANs).

M

Macro Metric - The result of distilling multiple KPIs related to the health of an organization’s customer relationships into a single unit of measurement.

Menu - An array of options clearly presented for selection by a customer, agent, or user on a computer screen or via a digital or voice channel.

Mobile Voice - Also referred to as voice control or voice access, this term describes technology allowing users to control their mobile devices by spoken command.

Moment of Truth - Any touchpoint along the customer journey in which a business has the potential to change a customer’s perception of the business and increase or decrease the customer’s loyalty as a result.

Multichannel Cloud Call Center - See related: Multichannel Cloud Contact Center.

Multichannel Cloud Contact Center - A contact center powered by cloud native software (rather than on-premise hardware) to handle inbound and outbound interactions independently across multiple communication channels. The information from an interaction on one independent channel is not connected or shared to impact interactions occurring on another independent channel.

N

Natural Language Processing - A technological process that powers the capability to turn text or audio speech into encoded, structured information.

Natural Language Understanding - An AI-enabled technology that allows humans to interact with computers in normal, conversational syntax. This cognitive technology allows computers to analyze spoken words along with elements like context and sentiment to derive, or understand, a person’s intent during communication.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) - This metric is used to measure customer perception of a brand and can predict revenue growth or decline. It is one of the primary methods by which companies assess loyalty and predict churn. Businesses derive the score by asking customers how likely they are, on a scale of 1 to 10, to recommend the business to others. Based on their answers, customers are then organized into a series of categories. Promoters indicate a score of 9-10. Passives indicate a score of 7-8. Detractors indicate a score of 1-6.

O

OMB Circular A-11, Section 280 - a section of the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11 that provides guidelines for federal agencies on how to manage and report on their information technology (IT) investments.

Omnichannel Cloud Call Center - See related: Omnichannel Cloud Contact Center.

Omnichannel Cloud Contact Center - A contact center powered by cloud native software (rather than on-premise hardware) to handle inbound and outbound interactions seamlessly across multiple, integrated communication channels. The information from a customer interaction on one channel at a single touchpoint along that customer’s journey is recorded and shared across channels to identify, personalize, and contextualize future interactions with the same customer.

Omnichannel Customer Experience - Omnichannel Customer Experience encapsulates a customer's feelings towards your service during all interactions, before, during, and after a purchase. Learn more.

Omnichannel Customer Journey - Describes a complete end-to-end set of experiences a customer has when interacting with an organization or brand across voice and digital channels.

Omnichannel Customer Service - The personalized, tailored service offered to a customer when an organization applies context and insight achieved from seamlessly interacting with the customer across multiple channels of his or her choice.

Omnichannel Retail Solutions - Refer to the integration of multiple sales channels and touchpoints, such as in-store, online, mobile, and call center, to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across all touchpoints.

Omnichannel - Omnichannel - Omnichannel is the provision of frictionless customer support across multiple customer service channels, enabled by integrated systems and customer context that's available on demand in every channel.

Omnichannel Routing - An interaction management system that allows an organization to proactively and productively route inbound, outbound, and blended contacts across multiple voice and digital channels using applications like ACD, IVR, AI-enabled chatbots.

Operational / Inferred / Unsolicited Feedback - Operational / inferred / unstructured / unsolicited feedback are types of customer input that businesses can leverage to develop a more holistic Voice of the Customer (VOC).

Outbound Call Center - Explore the functions and benefits of an outbound call center, a pivotal asset for businesses seeking to optimize customer engagement and sales strategies.

Outbound Call Center Compliance - Outbound call center compliance refers to the process of ensuring that your outbound call center is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

Outbound IVR - An IVR technology used to by contact centers to send proactive, personalized outbound messages. Similar to how a predictive dialer distributes outgoing calls, outbound IVR can automatically distribute outgoing messages to contacts across a variety of digital channels.

P

Patient Access - refers to the ability of patients to obtain and use healthcare services, information, and resources. It encompasses a range of factors, including physical and financial accessibility, availability of healthcare providers, and the availability of health information and resources.

Patient Engagement - refers to the active involvement of patients in their own healthcare, including decision-making and self-care management. The goal of patient engagement is to empower patients to take control of their health and to improve the quality and effectiveness of their care. By engaging patients in their own healthcare, healthcare providers can better understand their needs, preferences, and goals, and work together to develop personalized care plans that lead to improved health outcomes.

Patient Experience Solutions - refers to a set of tools, strategies, and approaches aimed at improving the overall quality of healthcare delivery and the satisfaction of patients with their healthcare experience. These solutions can include, but are not limited to, patient engagement and communication technologies, patient satisfaction surveys, clinical quality improvement initiatives, patient-centered design, and staff training programs. The goal of patient experience solutions is to create a positive, seamless, and effective healthcare experience for patients, from their initial interaction with the healthcare system through to the conclusion of their care journey.

Performance Management System - A contact center performance management system is an all-in-one reporting tool that offers real-time, historical, and transactional data for all roles.

Phone Call Tracker - A phone call tracker is an application that call centers employ to keep track of every phone call interaction between customers and agents alike.

Phoneme - The fundamental units of sound that distinguish one word from another within a particular language. Phonemes are essential in processing automatic speech recognition that powers natural language understanding and IVR technology used by contact centers.

Phrase - A set of one or more words assigned meaning within an application. In contact centers, phrases are often associated with directed dialog in IVR systems, where a customer interaction is guided by a menu of narrowly defined phrase options from which a customer can select through speech.

Port - A connection point that allows the transfer of information between two devices or between a computer and a server over a network.

Predictive Dialer - An application used by contact centers to initiate a large volume of outbound calls at one time, using an algorithm to predict outbound agent availability and transferring any connected contacts to live agents. This maximizes efficiency of agents who would otherwise spend a large amount of time dialing a long list individual numbers that would not result in connections.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX) - A private telephone system used by an organization to make and receive internal and external calls.

Processor - The component within a computer responsible for processing data.

Promoter - In the CX world, a promoter is a loyal customer willing to recommend a brand to friends and family.

Prompt - A message that guides the customer to respond by indicating a selection, dialing a number, or speaking a phrase associated with a desired outcome.

Proxy Server - An external intermediary used to handle resource requests requiring heavy or intense processing from a server.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) - A public network to which telephones, telephony systems, ACDs, and PBXs can be connected.

Q

Quality Evaluation - A quality evaluation is a quality management activity in which another individual, typically a supervisor or someone from the QM/QA team scores an agent interaction based on key criteria defined in a quality form.

Quality Management - The systems, processes, and strategies an organization uses to manage and improve quality. In contact centers, quality management is often associated with workforce management.

Quality Management Calibration - Calibration is a quality management activity that helps ensure all evaluators are on the same page in how they are evaluating interactions.

Quality Management Dispute - Quality management dispute is a quality management process that allows agents to dispute or contest a score they’ve received on a quality evaluation and explain where they disagree.

Quality Management Form - A quality management form is a set of questions used by evaluators to evaluate the performance of agents during interaction handling and identify areas for improvement.

Quality Plans - A quality plan is a tool for quality assurance. It samples random interactions based on filters you define and sends those interactions to evaluators for review.

Queue - A queue is a virtual line in which a customer waits to be connected with an agent. Call queues are the most well-known, but the rise in digital communication channels has created other ‘virtual lines’ like chat queues.

R

Real-Time Adherence - RTA (Real Time Adherence) is workforce management metric that helps you pinpoint employees that are currently out of adherence with the planned schedule.

Response Rate - A response rate is a term used to describe what proportion of survey invitations resulted in a completed survey.

Remote Agents - Remote agents work for contact centers remotely, providing customer service outside a traditional office setting.

Retail CX Solutions - Refers to the tools, technologies, and strategies that retailers use to enhance the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction in the retail environment.

Return on Investment (ROI) - Value of an investment expressed as a percentage of funds invested to generate a gain.

Robotic Process Automation - Robotic Process Automation (RPA) represents a transformative technology in the modern business landscape, offering a powerful solution for automating repetitive, rule-based tasks. RPA technology employs digital robots or "bots" to emulate human interactions with various systems and interfaces.

S

SaaS (Software as a Service) - A licensing and delivery model in which a vendor hosts and manages software in the cloud, making it available to access via the internet for clients paying on a subscription basis.

Schedule Adherence - Schedule adherence is a workforce management metric that tells how effectively an agent follows their schedule.

Scheduling - In contact center workforce optimization and workforce management, this refers to ongoing planning of employee on-duty hours, activities, and required staff fluctuations. See related: Forecasting.

Screen Pop - A customer information screen that automatically "pops" onto an agent's dashboard at the same time an interaction is initiated with that customer. It can deliver additional customer context enabled when an organization’s business systems, like its CRM database, are integrated with its contact center platform.

Screen Recording - Screen recording is the act of capturing an agent’s screen while they are handling an interaction for quality and coaching purposes.

Secure Payment Processing (SPC) - Secure Payment Processing (SPC) is an identification and authentication measure used to protect customer PII (Private Identifiable Information).

Self-service rate - A metric that describes how often customers resolve their own issues or complete their own transaction instead of speaking to a live agent.

Sentiment Analysis - AI-enabled analysis deriving information from speech and text sources to indicate the nature of commentary on an issue or the sentiment behind the commentary.

Sentiment Score - Sentiment scores are a metric for measuring customer sentiment. Sentiment scores can range from 0-100, where 0 is worse and 100 is best.

Server - A computer or program that manages access to a centralized resource or network service.

Shrinkage - Shrinkage is a workforce management metric that refers to time in which agents are being paid but are not available to handle interactions.

Single Pane of Glass - Single pane of glass refers to a business solution that integrates data from multiple sources and presents it in one unified visual display.

Smartphone Dialer - A smartphone dialer is a tool that call centers use to help agents maximize productivity and efficiency when making outbound calls.

SMB - Small-to-Midsize Business

SME - Small-to-Midsize Enterprise

Softphone - Provides traditional phone functionality using only a computer, tablet, or mobile device and a high-speed internet connection. See related: VoIP.

Speech analytics - Speech analytics, also called interaction analytics, is technology that leverages artificial intelligence to understand, process, and analyze human speech.

Supervisor - The individual responsible for leading, monitoring, and training a team of contact center agents.

Switch - A device within a telephone exchange that connects calls from recipient to destination and controls voice and data traffic across the exchange.

System Administrator - An IT role overseeing installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of software or hardware across a network.

T

T1 - A T1 line is a point-to-point, high capacity phone/data communications transmission service that connects a business customer with a telecom or internet service provider. T1 is quickly being replaced by more modern DSL and cable connections.

Talk Time - The amount of time a contact spent interacting with an agent between the initial greeting and conclusion of a conversation. It includes anything that happens during a call, including hold time and conference time. It can include inbound time and outbound time.

Task Buttons - A graphical user interface (GUI) element that allows users to issue commands.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) - TCP establishes network data exchange standards across programs and works with IP, which defines how computers transmit data packets.

Text and Speech Analytics - Text and speech analytics are technical tools that leverage artificial intelligence, such as natural language processing, to understand human speech and use that ability to identify patterns, like high occurrences of keywords and phrases.

touchpoint, customer touchpoint - What is a customer touch point? and why is it important for business and call centers. Learn more about it here.

Travel Customer Experience - The sum of interactions, touchpoints, and emotions that travelers go through when engaging with various aspects of a travel journey. This encompasses everything from researching and booking travel arrangements to actual travel experiences, such as flights, accommodations, activities, and interactions with travel service providers. The travel customer experience aims to provide a seamless and enjoyable journey for travelers, fostering positive perceptions and encouraging loyalty.

Trunk - Also called a telephone line, exchange line, or circuit, a trunk is a link between two phone switching systems.

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

U

ucaas, unified communications as a service - What is UCaaS? and how can contact centers maximize it for their businesses. Learn more about Unified Communications as a Service here.

Upsell - When a sales rep suggests that a customer would benefit from purchasing a comparable—but more expensive—version of the product currently being considered. See related: Cross-sell.

V

Virtual Agent - A virtual avatar or computer-generated character representation of chatbot functionality and features.

Virtual Call Center - A single, virtual call center operation made up of multiple, geographically dispersed agents working in smaller remote facilities or directly from home.

Virtual Contact Center - A single, virtual contact center operation made up of multiple, geographically dispersed agents working in smaller remote facilities or directly from home.

Virtual Currency - Virtual currencies are coins or tokens specific to a gamification strategy. They are used to reward players and create an in-game economy.

Virtual Marketplace - A virtual marketplace is an important element of gamification. It enables reward redemption with prizes and awards that an organization chooses to make available to agents.

Voice Authentication - A biometric verification of a user’s voice granting authorization or access rights to the user.

Voice of the Customer (VOC) - Market research that captures, stores, and analyzes customer feedback—whether direct, indirect, or inferred—to produce a set of insights on customer preferences, priorities, satisfaction, and more.

Voice Platform - A platform that facilitates the development of voice applications and their integration with telephony systems used by call centers and contact centers.

Voice Response Unit - A predecessor to the more commonly known IVR, this term describes the automated telephone answering system that allows a caller to navigate through a series of prerecorded messages and menu options using buttons on a touch-tone phone.

Voice User Interface - An interface allowing users to interact with a voice application through spoken commands and phrases. It is part of the foundation on which today’s sophisticated, AI-enabled voice and speech recognition technology is built.

Voiceprint - The unique biometric identifiers of your voice indicated on a sound spectrogram that form the basis for voice authentication technology.

W

Wallboards - Wallboards allow contact centers to have a visual overview of real-time performance. This display tool creates accountability for the employees and a quick summary of the status of the contact center.

Workflow - A system that enables and tracks the efficient, optimal, consistent execution of business processes and automated tasks.

Workflow Management - The management of internal and external workflow systems and approaches.

Workforce Engagement (WEM) - Workforce Engagement (WEM) is an approach for increasing contact center agent engagement.

Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) - A collection of contact center software applications designed to increase agent engagement throughout the employment life cycle.

Workforce Management (WFM) - The management, monitoring, and training of agents within the contact center. This includes scheduling, forecasting, and workforce optimization initiatives.

Workforce Optimization (WFO) - A strategy to improve multichannel or omnichannel customer and agent experiences via workforce management software. These software tools can include AI-enabled forecasting, scheduling, quality management, performance management, coaching, analytics, or reporting applications. See related: Contact Center Workforce Optimization.

Workforce Planning - See related: Workforce Optimization (WFO), Workforce Management (WFM).

Workload Management - Real-time monitoring, reporting, and distribution of contact center workload resulting from inbound and outbound communication volume.