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23 terms

Call Center Terminology

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Cross-Selling
The technique used by telephone representatives to sell an additional product or service related to the initial product they are purchasing while engaged in a customer contact. For example, suggesting a camera case to a customer purchasing a camera.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The strategy of identifying customer needs, improving customer interactions, and customizing contacts, sales approaches, and automation to provide optimum service to each type of customer to maximize the bottom line benefits to the organization.
Customer Surveys
Questionnaires sent to a customer after a call is completed or service is done. They can come in the form of an email, a live call from a survey company, post office mail, or sometimes an automated phone call.
Dead Air
A pause or silence on a call where the customer hears no activity from a customer service agent. Dead Air provides a negative experience for the caller. Generally, no more than 15-30 seconds of Dead Air is allowed by Call Centers.
E-Mail (Electronic Mail)
The electronic transmission of letters, memos and messages from one computer to another.
Handle Time
The amount of time from when you pick up the phone to speak to a customer until the customer disconnects the call.
Hold time
The amount of time customers are placed on hold. They will hear music or other recorded information in the background to indicate they are still being assisted.
Home Agent
An agent that works from home or someplace else other than the actual contact center location.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
A device which automates retrieval and processing of information by phone using touch tone signaling or voice recognition to access information residing on a server to give a response. The response may be given by a recorded human voice or a synthesized (computerized) voice. IVRs are used in applications such as "bank by phone" or "check on my order" which not only distributes information but collects transaction information as well.
Monitoring
The practice of listening to an agent's telephone calls to assess the quality of the agent calls. Also called service observation. May be silent, announced, side-by-side, or recorded for later review.
Outsourcing
Contracting with an outside company to handle some or all contacts with customers.
Overflow
Contacts that route from one place to another group or site. Intraflow is the term used to describe the routing of contacts to another group within the same ACD, while interflow refers to routing a contact from one ACD to another site. Will generally occur when a particular group or site has reached maximum call capacity.
Intraflow
The term used to describe the routing of contacts to another group within the same ACD.
Interflow
The term used to describe routing a contact from one ACD to another site when a particular group or site has reached maximum call capacity.
Quality Audits
Evaluations of agent calls by other Call Center personnel that have monitored your interaction with a customer. They can often be completed during a monitored live call or a recorded call.
Queue
The "waiting line" for delayed calls. A queue holds calls until an agent is available.
Schedule
A record that specifies when an employee is required to be on duty to handle contacts. An agent's schedule consists of the days of week worked, start time, break times and durations (as well as paid/unpaid status), and stop time.
Screen Monitoring
An automated monitoring system capability that allows a supervisor/manager to simultaneously see an agent's screen activity.
Script
The written words and logic to be followed in the handling of a contact that will assist the agent in maintaining focus on the content of the contact. Some companies require Scripts to be read verbatim with no exceptions, some companies want the main parts to be read but allow you to put it in your own words.
Service Level
Speed of answer goals are often expressed as the percentage of calls that must be answered within a certain number of seconds (e.g., 80 percent of call answered within 30 seconds).
Supervisor/Team Manager
The person who has first-line responsibility for the management of a group of agents. Often has a special telephone or computer terminal for monitoring agents and the system performance.
Talk Time
The elapsed time from when an agent answers a call until the agent disconnects.
Upselling
The technique used by telephone representatives to sell a more expensive or higher quality product or service related to the initial product or service they are purchasing while engaged in a customer contact.