Call Center Glossary

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Abandoned Call. Also called a Lost Call. The caller hangs up before reaching an agent.

Activity Codes. See Wrap-Up Codes.

Adherence To Schedule. A general term that refers to how well agents adhere to their schedules. Can include both a) how much time they were available to take calls during their shifts, including the time spent handling calls and the time spent waiting for calls to arrive (also called Availability), and b) when they were available to take calls (also called Compliance or Adherence). See Real-Time Adherence Software and Occupancy.

After-Call Work (ACW). Also called Wrap-up and Post Call Processing (PCP). Work that is necessitated by and immediately follows an inbound transaction. Often includes entering data, filling out forms and making outbound calls necessary to complete the transaction. The agent is unavailable to receive another inbound call while in this mode.

Agent. The person who handles incoming or outgoing calls. Also referred to as customer service representative (CSR), telephone sales or service representative (TSR), rep, associate, consultant, engineer, operator, technician, account executive, team member, customer service professional, staff member, attendant and specialist. Did we miss any?

Agents. See Average Number of Agents.

Agent Group. Also called Split, Gate, Queue or Skills Group. A collection of agents that share a common set of skills, such as being able to handle customer complaints.

Agent Out Call. An outbound call placed by an agent.

Agent Status. The mode an agent is in (Talk Time, After-Call Work, Unavailable, etc.).

All Trunks Busy (ATB). When all trunks are busy in a specified trunk group. Generally, reports indicate how many times all trunks were busy, and how much total time all trunks were busy. What they don't reveal is how many callers got busy signals when all trunks were busy.

Analog. Telephone transmission or switching that is not digital. Signals are analogous to the original signal.

Announcement. A recorded verbal message played to callers.

Answer Supervision. The signal sent by the ACD or other device to the local or long distance carrier to accept a call. ThatÍs when billing for either the caller or the call center will begin, if long distance charges apply.

Answered Call. When referring to an agent group, a call counted as answered when it reaches an agent.

Application Based Routing and Reporting. The ACD capability to route and track transactions by type of call, or application (e.g., sales, service, etc.), versus the traditional method of routing and tracking by trunk group and agent group.

Architecture. The basic design of a system. Determines how the components work together, system capacity, upgradeability, and the ability to integrate with other systems.

Audiotex. A voice processing capability that enables callers to automatically access pre-recorded announcements. See Voice Processing.

Auto Available. An ACD feature whereby the ACD is programmed to automatically put agents into Available after they finish Talk Time and disconnect calls. If they need to go into After-Call Work, they have to manually put themselves there. See Auto Wrap-up.

Auto Greeting. Agent's pre-recorded greeting that plays automatically when a call arrives.

Auto Wrap-up. An ACD feature whereby the ACD is programmed to automatically put agents into After-Call Work after they finish Talk Time and disconnect calls. When they have completed any After-Call Work required, they put themselves back into Available. See Auto Available.

Automated Attendant. A voice processing capability that automates the attendant function. The system prompts callers to respond to choices (e.g., press one for this, two for thatÉ") and then coordinates with the ACD to send callers to specific destinations. This function can reside in an on-site system or in the network.

Automatic Call Distributor (ACD). The specialized telephone system used in incoming call centers. It is a programmable device that automatically answers calls, queues calls, distributes calls to agents, plays delay announcements to callers and provides real-time and historical reports on these activities. May be a stand-alone system, or ACD capability built into a CO, network or PBX.

Automatic Call Sequencer (ACS). A simple system that is less sophisticated than an ACD, but provides some ACD-like functionality.

Automatic Number Identification (ANI). A telephone network feature that passes the number of the phone the caller is using to the call center, real-time. ANI may arrive over the D channel of an ISDN PRI circuit (out of band signaling), or before the first ring on a single line (inband signaling). ANI is delivered from long distance companies. Caller ID is the local phone company version of ANI, and is delivered inband. ANI is a North American term, and Calling Line Identification (CLI) is an alternative term used elsewhere.

Auxiliary Work State. An agent work state that is typically not associated with handling telephone calls. When agents are in an auxiliary mode, they will not receive inbound calls.

Availability. See Adherence to Schedule.

Available State. Agents who are signed on to the ACD and waiting for calls to arrive.

Available Time. The total time that an agent or agent group waited for calls to arrive, for a given time period.

Average Delay. See Average Speed of Answer.

Average Delay of Delayed Calls. The average delay of calls that are delayed. It is the total Delay for all calls divided by the number of calls that had to wait in queue. See Average Speed of Answer.

Average Handle Time (AHT). The sum of Average Talk Time and Average After-Call Work for a specified time period.

Average Holding Time on Trunks (AHT). The average time inbound transactions occupy the trunks. It is: (Talk Time + Delay Time)/Calls Received. AHT is also an acronym for Average Handling Time, which has a different meaning.

Average Number of Agents. The average number of agents logged into a group for a specified time period.

Average Speed of Answer (ASA). Also called Average Delay. The average delay of all calls. It is total Delay divided by total number of calls. See Average Delay of Delayed Calls.

Average Time to Abandonment. The average time that callers wait in queue before abandoning. The calculation considers only the calls that abandon.


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