Glossary | Call Center Terminologies -

Call Center Definitions and Terminologies

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An agent is a person in a call center that answers calls and interacts with the customers.

Average Handle Time:

The average time taken by an agent to handle one call. It is the sum of call duration, time taken to get work done after the call and the call hold time, divided by the total number of calls made.

Average Queue Time:

The total number of time your customers spend in the call queue divided by the number of calls answered by your agents.

Average Speed of Answer:

The average speed of answer is the sum of the time spent by your customers in call queues, divided by the total number of calls attended to by your agents.

Average Queue Time:

Average queue time gives you an insight into the overall customer experience of your organization. This contact center reporting metric is determined by the total time your customers have spent in the call queues divided by the number of calls that your agents have answered.

Average Wait Time:

The average time a customer has to wait before he is connected to an agent. This metric helps measure the quality of your call center service.

Auto Dialer:

An auto dialer is a software that automatically dials calls to customers and provides the necessary information or routes the calls to an agent.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD):

A phone system that answers incoming customer calls and routes the calls to the best available agent based on expertise and skills.

Automatic Callback:

A feature that gives automatic callbacks to customers whenever an agent is available.


Business to business (B2B):

B2B represents the commercial transactions between two businesses.

Business to consumer (B2C):

B2C represents the commercial transactions between a business and a consumer.


Call Abandonment Rate:

Call abandonment rate describes the number of callers that hang up a call before they are connected to an agent.

Call center:

A physical location where an organization manages inbound and outbound calls.

Call center management:

The methods in which organizations manage the daily operations of their call center which include, reporting, training, scheduling etc.

Call Disposition Codes:

Call disposition codes represent the final status of a call. These codes help call center managers to make smarter, data-driven decisions.

Call Duration:

Call duration defines the average time spent by an agent on call with a customer.

Call Logging:

Also known as call monitoring or call recording, it is the act of monitoring and assessing the interactions between the call center agents and the customers.

Calls per Hour:

This metric describes the number of calls made by an agent per hour. It defines the efficiency of your call center agents.

Callback messaging:

A service that allows a customer to leave a message to an agent, so that the agent can get back to the customer when he becomes available.

Call Quality:

This call center reporting metric measures the efficiency and skill with which your agents interact with the customers. Call quality is measured through the feedback of your customers and is quite similar to customer satisfaction.

Chief customer officer:

A chief customer officer, or customer experience officer, is generally responsible for customer research, communicating with company employees and taking charge of customer experience metrics.

Collaborative browsing

A software-based technique that allows an agent in a contact center to interact with a customer by using the customer’s web browser to display something.

Cloud Contact Center:

A call center software that has been hosted over the internet and requires no external hardware for installation.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI):

Any technology that enables computers to manage telephone calls.

Cross-media queuing

Cross-media queuing is a call center technology that enables all incoming queries to be received and routed in the same way, whether a query comes in the form of a phone call, e-mail message, instant message, Web site submission, fax or interactive voice response (IVR) message.

CTI pop up:

A pop up that displays all the relevant information of a caller when a call arrives.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

A technology that helps manage the relationships of current and potential customers.

Customer Satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction shows your customer’s satisfaction with the products and services that are provided by you. It is measured by taking customer satisfaction surveys.


First Call Resolution:

First Call resolution is the number of times that a customer’s query is resolved in the first call.


Inbound Call:

A call initiated by a customer to a call center agent.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR):

An automated telephony system that gathers information of callers and routes it to the appropriate party.


KSA (Knowledge, skills, and attributes):

The overall make-up of an employee from an educational/life experience background, specific skills and capabilities, and personality traits and attributes that may indicate potential success in a particular position.


LDQ (Longest Delay In Queue):

Longest Delay in Queue is the longest time that a customer had to wait in queue before being connected to an agent. It represents the worst case scenario for a call center not handling the call of a customer.

Load Balancing:

The process of balancing contacts between multiple sites, queues, or agent groups.

Look Ahead Routing/Queuing:

The capability of a system to “look ahead” to evaluate the availability/condition of a trunk group or agent group before routing or overflowing a contact there.



The practice of listening to agents’ telephone calls to assess the quality with which the call is handled. Also called service observation. May be silent, announced, side-by-side, or recorded for later review.

Multi-Channel Contact Center:

A contact center that connects to their customers via multiple channels such as email, voice, SMS, social media etc.


Net Promoter Score:

Net promoter scores shows the willingness of your customers to promote your products or services to others.

Next Available Agent:

The practice of routing the first contact in queue to the first available agent, maintaining an equitable workload among agents. If no queue exists, contacts are routing the agent idle the longest.


An attempted contact that results in something other than a live answer (busy signal, no answer, automated answer, etc.)

Nuisance Call:

The situation that occurs when a live contact is made with a potential customer, but no live agent is available to match up with the call, resulting in dead air space to the customer.



A call received by an agent from a customer.


Predictive Dialer:

A predictive dialer is a system that automatically initiates outbound calls by screening and avoiding numbers that are in the DNC list, which have a busy signal or in the and the ones heading towards the answering machine while predicting when an agent will be available next.



Return on investment.


Service Level:

This metric determines the number of calls made by an agent in a specific number of seconds.

Self-service Accessibility:

The number of times callers choose a self service option over a live agent to resolve their queries. This metric shows the quality of the self service options.


Talk Time:

The elapsed time from when an agent answers a call until the agent disconnects.


Use of a telephone and/or computer system in the home that allows an employee perform job duties and to communicate with the office without actually traveling to and from work.


A conference between persons remote from one another but linked by a telecommunications system.

Toll Free:

A service that enables customers to place calls to an organization without incurring a long-distance charge. Numbers include 800 and 888 dialing codes.


Virtual agent:

A conversational bot that acts as online customer service representative and resolves the queries of customers without human intervention.

Virtual Call Center:

A concept wherein the network and the agents that are located at multiple physical locations and work together as if located at one place.

Voice Recognition System:

A telephone system using speech recognition to activate equipment that dials telephone numbers automatically. May be speaker-dependent or independent.

Voice Processing:

The technology that allows computers to speak, store human voices, and react to human speech.


Web self service:

A type of customer support system that enables customers to resolve their queries with the information available on the internet, without interaction with an agent.

Workforce Management (WFM):

An integrated set of processes used by a company to optimize the productivity of its employees.

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