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.
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.
ActiveX Controls - A feature set within a web page that allows for interactive functionality.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Cognitive technology that uses and analyzes data, algorithms, and programming to perform actions, predict problems, and adapt to circumstances.
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.
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.
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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 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 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.
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 recorder - Known as call recording software, is contact center technology that records the contents of phone calls and may also capture agent screens.
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.
Central Office - A site that houses major telecommunication devices and network access facilities for storage and operation.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 Effort Score (CES) - A score based on the amount of effort a customer expends in getting their issue resolved, purchasing a product, etc.
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 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 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 is the process of collecting and analyzing information about a business's customers with the intent of identifying the best way of interacting with them in order to strengthen relationships and increase loyalty.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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