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 - 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.
Caller - The calling party, or customer, with whom your contact center system or agent interacts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) - The strategies, technology, and resources used to achieve a holistic understanding of a customer and their relationship to an organization. Proper CRM integration in a contact center can lead to more personalized service, increased customer retention, and more revenue.
Cross-sell - When a sales rep suggests that an existing customer would benefit from the purchase of an additional product or service.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) - The customer satisfaction level, measured by how well the organization meets expectations. Typically determined through customer satisfaction surveys.
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.
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.
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 Effort Score (CES) - A score based on the amount of effort a customer expends in getting their issue resolved, purchasing a product, etc.
Customer Journey - Describes a complete end-to-end set of experiences customers have when interacting with an organization or brand.
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 Service - The support offered to customers before, during, and after their purchase.
CT Connect - A technology that allows computer applications to monitor and control telephone calls.
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).
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