A Beginner’s Guide to Contact Center Terminology

Learning contact center terminology is like learning a new language: there are a lot of basic terms you need to master to carry out a conversation. That can be pretty tough to do if you’re mixing up your KPIs and APIs, but luckily, OneReach has got your back. Here are definitions to some of the most common terms in the industry.

Answering machine detection (AMD): a system that can determine whether a call has reached a person or an answering machine

Application programming interface (API): programming contract that tells different software programs how to interact

Call Detail Record (CDR): information about a given call, like length of time, used primarily for billing purposes by a provider

Call routing: sending calls to their appropriate destination

Channel pivot: the ability to switch between voice call and text message without losing track of the conversation

Channel: a method of communication

Cloud computing: the sending and storing of data over the Internet

Computer telephony integration (CTI): coordinates interaction between a computer and a telephone

Customer experience (CX): takes into account all the interactions a customer has with a company//how customers engage and react to a company during their relationship

Customer satisfaction (CSAT): a measure of how well a company meets a customer’s expectations

Customer service (CS): assistance provided to customer using a company’s product or service

Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF): used to send signals in the voice-frequency band between telephone handsets and other communications devices

First contact resolution (FCR): a company’s ability to solve a customer’s problem on the first service contact

Gamification: the incorporation of game components like levels and incentives into a business environment to increase employee or customer engagement

Inbound call: a call to a company initiated by the customer

Integration: connecting multiple systems so they work in cooperation with one another

Interactive text response (ITR): an automated text system that recognizes and reacts appropriately to repeat customers without customer input over SMS

Interactive voice response (IVR): an automated phone system that recognizes and reacts appropriately to repeat customers without customer input

Key performance indicator (KPI): a metric used to evaluate a company’s success

Long code: term used for SMS-enabled phone number with traditional 10-digit format (in USA)

Multimedia Message Service (MMS): a way to send messages over the SMS channel to transmit multimedia content

Net Promoter Score (NPS): a measurement of consumer loyalty on a scale of zero to 10 achieved by subtracting the percentage of detractors (0-6) from the promoters (9-10)

Omnichannel: a seamless interaction between different forms of communication

Outbound call: a call initiated by the call center to a customer

Provider: a company that supplies customers with telephony service and transmits calls and text

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN): traditional voice telephone call infrastructure

Push notification: an alert that notifies a user of news or events when the application isn’t open

Screen pop: a notification that displays caller-specific information automatically when a call comes in

Self-service: a support mechanism that provides customers with enough information and capabilities to solve a problem or carry out a task without additional human interaction

Short code: easy to remember 5 or 6 digits phone numbers used to transmit and receive a large volume of text messages (heavily regulated)

Short Message Service (SMS): a way to send and receive messages under 160 characters to/from different mobile devices (also known as texting)

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): a model where businesses license out software on a subscription basis instead and host it online

Speech To Text (STT): converts spoken words to text

Text To Speech (TTS): converts text to spoken words

User experience (UX): how customers interact with and perceive a service or product in response to its design and layout

Voice of the customer (VoC): a company’s perception of the customer’s wants and needs

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): sends and receives voice calls over the Internet

Got all that? 🙂

We know this is a lot to take in, so if you have any questions or want further explanation, feel free to text, call, or email us!

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