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Glossary of Call Center Terms

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    Vishal Jhamb
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    Glossary of Call Center Terms

    In Alphabetical order

    Agent
    A general term for a person responsible for handling customer calls, specifically in a call center environment. Also known as a TeleServices Representative, Rep or TSR.

    Agent Performance Report
    A report showing statistics of individual agents while active on a call center system.

    Agent Workstation
    Traditionally a PC or intelligent terminal that streamlines and automates any of the routine tasks performed by the agent during the course of a call.

    Answering Machine Detection AMD
    The ability of a predictive dialing system? to detect the difference between an answering machine and a live voice.

    Automatic Number Identification ANI
    The digits that arrive at the same time as a telephone call that identifies the origin of the call.

    Blend
    The ability to have outbound and inbound calls handled by the same agent.

    Blend Agent
    A specific type of agent position designated to handle both outbound and inbound calls.

    Blended Call Center
    A call center employing technology that can route both outbound and inbound calls to specific agent positions.

    Blocked Calls
    Telephone calls that can not be completed due to unavailable capacity on the telephone switch or telephone network.

    Branching Script
    A guide (script) used in call center applications that provide the agent with alternative presentations depending on the response from the called party.

    Business to Business
    Direct marketing campaign (outbound) targeting business customers.

    Call Blending
    Refers to the process of combining outbound and inbound call handling capacity to balance the load of each.

    Caller ID
    A generic term for the information that accompanies a telephone call, identifying the call’s origin.

    Client/Server
    A computing environment that divides the workload between desktop workstations (clients) and larger, shared computers (servers). This speeds access to information.

    Computer Telephony Integration CTI
    The ability to connect computers with telephone switches and have the computer issue commands to the switch for manipulating calls.

    Contact Management
    A software application that allows users to manage their interaction with customers. This software typically includes customer information screens for agent use, letter/fax generation programs, and an interface to the telephone switch for predictive dialing or inbound calls.

    Dialed Number Identification Service DNIS
    A feature of toll free (800) and (900) numbers which presents a call center system with the number dialed. Many call center systems will make routing decisions based on this information.

    Disconnect Rate
    The percentage of calls placed by an auto dialer or predictive dialer that are not routed to an agent, such as busy signals, no answers and answering machines.

    Disposition
    The outcome of a call in an outbound campaign. The call may or may not be completed to receive a disposition.

    Do Not Call List
    A list of consumers who have requested not to receive telephone solicitations.

    Download
    Processing and installing files containing customer records to be dialed from a host computer or other sending device (i.e., IVR, Internet, etc.).

    Dropped Call
    A call that was placed in a hold queue and was terminated (hung?up) by the caller, or dropped by the system, before it was answered by an agent. Also known as a dropped call.

    Filter
    A database process that suppresses all records except those containing specific data, such as specific city or state, area code, etc.

    Graphical User Interface GUI
    A generic term for computer software which allows users to interact with programs through icons and screen menus instead of strict keyboard entries.

    Group
    A specific set of agents and an ACD or predictive dialer.

    Host
    The primary computer, or computer system used by a call center. Traditionally, host computers maintain databases and application programs.

    Hotkey
    A generic term for a computer keyboard shortcut, which can be programmed to load new programs over existing ones.

    Inbound
    Calls coming into a call center.

    Local Area Network LAN
    A system used for connecting computers and peripherals over a short distance.

    Monitor
    The ability to listen in on an agent/customer conversation to evaluate the quality of the agent’s interaction.

    Off Hook
    Condition when a telephone handset is lifted from its cradle.

    On Hook
    Condition when a telephone handset is in its cradle.

    Outbound
    Calls made by a call center.

    Pacing Algorithm
    A sophisticated mathematical formula used by predictive dialing systems to achieve a productive balance between the number of available agents and the number of calls being placed.

    Peak Period(s)
    The time(s) when the number of calls being handled by a call center are at their highest.

    Predictive Dialing
    A technology for making outbound calls using advanced software to estimate the correct number of calls to place and the number of agents that should be available to take the calls.

    Protocol
    The set of rules governing specific types of voice and data communications signals.

    Queue
    A series of calls waiting to be answered, or a series of tasks waiting to be executed.

    Real time Display
    An agent supervisor’s console with the capacity to display present status information (agent activity, call progress, etc.) as it occurs in real-time.

    Record
    An entry in a database, such as a customer’s account profile.

    Remote Access
    The ability to perform a function or execute a feature from a different, distant location.

    Server
    A shared computer resource which can be accessed by other users (“clients”) on the network.

    Stand Alone
    Any device that performs independently of other devices.

    Supervisor
    The person responsible for call center management. Also, a designation given to certain “virtual agents” that appear in the system and carry out or supervise system functions.

    T1
    A digital transmission link for voice and data communications. The capacity of a T I line is 1.5 Mbps and it can handle 24 simultaneous voice channels.

    Talk Time
    The length of time an agent spends placing or taking calls.

    Telephone Service Representative or Telephone Sales Representative TSR
    (see Agent)

    Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Program TCP/IP
    A computer networking protocol that allows different types of computers and networks to communicate with each other.

    Verification Agent
    A call center agent performing “end of call” functions such as scheduling appointments or order verifications. When an agent completes a call, it can be transferred to a verification agent, freeing the original agent for the next call in the queue.

    Wide Area Network WAN
    A data network which connects a series of Local Area Networks together with telephone lines.

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