Helpful A-Z glossary listing key terms, acronyms and their definitions.



Calabrio is a workforce management optimization system for call centers, that provides services such as call recording, advanced reporting, workforce and quality management and analytics. Calabrio has been recognized by Gartner Inc.’s Magic Quadrant report.


The process of aligning performances with predetermined standards of quality, necessary to achieve the desired objectives.


Call Blending

The process of organizing and distributing the flow of incoming and outgoing calls, email's, chats and other interactions, to a set of customer service agents. Call blending can be achieved either manually or automatically through specialized systems that route contacts to agents capable of handling them.


Call-By-Call Routing

Based on pre-determined criteria and conditions, call-by-call routing is a call management proceudre that ensures that calls are always routed to the appropriate department or customer service agent.


Call Center

AKA contact center. A call center is a centralized department or operation that incorporates technical, physical and human resources, for the purpose of managing large volumes of calls, emails, chats and other communication platforms, for a company or business, in order to provide services, support, and assistance to customers. Customers are usually handled by brand specialists, customer service agents or representatives (CSR).


Call Center Attrition

Call center attrition AKA"employee turnover"is the rate at which employees or customer service agents leave the workforce at a call center.


Call Center Forecasting

Statistical methods and techniques based on data analytics, that precisely forecast or predict contact volume. The expected volume is in turn used to estimate and calculate the number of required customer service agents and optimize operator deployment.


Call Center Outsourcing

Refers to a strategic business practice of hiring an external company or third party supplier to manage customer contacts. The outsourced call center may be an offshore, onshore or virtual call center, depending on the needs of the hiring company. The benefits of outsourcing includes, cost advantages, increased efficiency, staffing flexibility and improved focus on core business activities.


Call Center Service Level

Refers to accepted levels or standards of service in a call center. The term service levels refer to a measurable number or percentage of calls answered within a given time period or threshold. It simply reveals how quickly, customer calls are answered by support agents. For example, an 80/20 service level refers to a target of 80% of incoming calls being answered within 20 seconds.


Call Control

The ability to swiftly and politely guide the flow of a customer service call, usually by asking questions.


Call Drivers

Refers to the cause or reason for which customers contact customer support services, through voice calls, emails or any of the various chat support channels.


Call Forcing

An automatic call distribution (ACD) function that automatically routes calls to a customer service agent who is available and ready to receive customer calls.


Call Greeting

AKA call opening, is a salutation to the customer at the start of the call with a customer service agent or representative (CSR). The call opening script may include a welcome message, the company's name, brief information about the company, the agent's name, or other important information.


Call Guide

A carefully designed script or template that customer service agents use as a guide to provide customers with company-approved responses, accurate answers and ensure the call flows naturally.


Call Length

Usually conveyed as an average, call length is the duration of time it takes to process one customer interaction.


Call Metering

Refers to restricting of the number of incoming callers that are able to get through the switch at one time. This may be applied when there is a surge in incoming calls that exceed the planned forecast. The caller may hear a busy tone during this time.


Call Opening

This is a salutation to the customer at the start of the call with a customer service agent or representative (CSR). The call opening script may include a welcome message, the company's name, brief information about the company, the agent's name, or other important information.


Call Recording

Call recording is an automated interactive voice response (IVR) feature that enables sorting of data, and recording phone interactions, for the purpose of documenting transactions, assessing call quality, facilitating agent training and measuring customer experience, all in an effort to provide an excellent customer service experience.


Call Review Assessment

Usually conducted by call center supervisors or a quality assurance team (QA), call review assessment is done to evaluate individual customer service agents' call managing capabilities and performances.


Call Strategy

A strategy or plan that a customer service agent adopts in handling and managing a customer call in order to achieve the desired outcome of the call.


Call Time

Often described as call duration. Call time simply refers to the amount of time it takes a customer service agent to complete a call. See average handle time.


Call Transfer

A telecommunication technique that involves relocating incoming calls to a specific agent or department. Call transfer can be divided into two broad categories - unannounced transfers (cold transfers), and announced transfers (warm transfers).


Caller-Entered Digits

Refers to an interactive voice response (IVR) feature, that allows customers to choose from a set of self service options, by using the telephone keypad to input a specific digit to navigate a directory.


Caller ID

The caller ID feature allows customer service agents to see the caller's phone number and information, which allows them to identify who is trying to contact them. Caller IDs are usually displayed on the agent's desktop or on a separate screen.


Calling Line Identity (CLI)

Calling Line Identity (CLI), is fundamentally a caller ID, that displays a caller's information on the agent's desktop or on a separate screen, see automatic number identification.


Calls Handled

Refers to a call center metric that determines the number of incoming calls answered from the queue before being dropped.


Calls In Queue

Refers to the number of incoming calls in queue, that are received by the automatic call distribution (ACD), but not yet transferred to an available customer service agent.


Calls Offered

Refers to the number of incoming calls received by a call center. It is an indicator of the number of agents required to manage the call volume.


Calls Per Agent

A metric calculated by dividing the number of calls managed by the total number of agents handling the calls over a specific period of time.



Refers to a business or company that operates a specific telecommunications network, and can include both domestic and international communication service providers.


Case Management

Case management is a collaborative process that covers all aspects of customer relationship management (CRM), which begins from the initial contact interaction until the last communication is completed and customer satisfaction is achieved.



See centum call seconds.


Central Office (CO)

A central office can refer to either a switching center of a telephone company or a part of telephone switch used in any telephone company. The local central office receives calls from the local area and routes them either locally or through an inter-exchange carrier (IXC). It also receives call requests on the receiving end through IXC.


Centum Call Seconds (CCS)

AKA the hundred call second, it is a telecommunications traffic density unit. 1 hour = 1 Erlang = 60 minutes = 36 CCS.



See customer effort score.



In contact center terminology, channels refers to methods or paths of communication a customer uses to interact with a business, such as voice calls, emails, texts SMS, chats, and social media platforms.



Refers to a customer service delivery channel, that enables customers to communicate with customer service agents by exchanging messages online, and in real time.


Chat Bot

Chat Bot is an artificial intelligence (AI) -driven software application, that simulates conversations via internet messaging apps, website popups, or through virtual assistants.



Enables a network to transmit data and information between two points.


Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise

A "contact center in a box", it is a Cisco systems product, that provides contact centers and service providers with omni channel customer care and management, the unified CCX can be used to route calls to specific agents or to integrate with Unified IP IVR to gather caller data and classify incoming calls.


Click to Chat

A form of digital communication, that enables an online chat, or instant message conversation about a service or product, typically initiated by clicking on a hyperlink, image, or button on a website or app.


Client/Server Architecture

An arrangement of shared computer networks or systems that have the same infrastructure in which their capabilities and devices are integrated. It is usually made up of one or more client systems connected to a central or main server.



A marketing technique used by customer service agents to build customer relationships through recommending relevant product selections based on data from their previous purchases, preferences and behaviors.



"See collaborative browsing."



Refers to the process of improving customer service agent efficiency and program performance through both encouragement and positive reinforcements. This is conducted through monitoring calls and using quality assurance evaluation sheets to identify opportunities for improvement.

Cold Transfer

AKA blind transfer, cold transfer refers to the transferring of incoming calls directly from one agent to another without making an announcement. This type of transfer is is done without any introduction of the caller to the next agent.

Collaborative Browsing

AKA co-browsing, is a synchronized joint internet browsing by at least two individuals, collaborative browsing can be used by customer service agents to to help customers navigate the website and collect relevant information. It differs from screen sharing tool, in that both participants may have control over the browsing window.

Collateral Duties

Refers to business activities or tasks performed by customer service agents, that don’t require phone calls and lie outside of their primary professional responsibility.

Command Center

In contact centers, a command center refers to a group that has the responsibility to manage a set of workforce management functions such as agent forecasting, skill enhancement, scheduling, and reporting.

Command Center Analysts

A command center analyst is a member of the command center group, responsible for performing workforce management functions and adjustments in real-time environments.

Common Causes

Causes of intrinsic variation to a process over time. They cause the rhythmic, common variations in the system of causes and they affect every outcome of the process and everyone working in the process. See special causes.


Compliance is defined as fulfilling call center operations, according to a variety of standards, specifications, and guidelines set by government requirements and regulations, to ensure the privacy and safety of consumer data and prevent its unauthorized use.


Computer Simulation

The process of using computer softwares to predict future outcomes. Computer simulation, evaluates and tests solution outcomes based on multiple variations and probabilities of events.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

Computer telephony integration (CTI) software, is a technology that enables computers to interact with telephone systems. This helps agents manage incoming calls and initiate outgoing calls more efficiently.


Customer service agents who assist customers with a broad range of services related to the product or brand, and accommodate various customer requests, often going beyond what is expected to satisfy the request.

Conditional Routing

Refers to the capability of the automatic call distributor (ACD) to redirect and route individual incoming calls based on specific conditions such as, availability of the agents, time of the call, location of the caller and the nature of the assistance required.

Consumer Affairs

Consumer affairs refer to measures taken by customers to convey their concerns, observations, queries or comments about a service, product, policy, brand, or action taken by a customer service agent, in an effort to satisfy their needs.


Any interaction between a customer or caller, and a customer service agent, mainly through telephone calls, emails, chats or other communication channels.

Contact Center

Also referred to as a customer interaction center, and usually synonymous with a call center. A contact center refers to a centralized location from which a business manages and handles all customer contacts, usually through telephone calls, emails, chats, texts SMS, social media and various communication channels, in order to provide customers with efficient and effective customer service and technical support.

Contact Center Management

Contact center management includes managing workforce forecasting, improving customer experience, and increasing sale conversion by monitoring contact center operations, to ensure that the contact center performs optimally and meets predetermined quality standards consistently.

Common European Framework (CEFR)

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, abbreviated in English as CEFR or CEF or CEFRL, is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries. The CEFR is also intended to make it easier for educational institutions and employers to evaluate the language qualifications of candidates to education admission or employment. The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions (A- for Basic User, B- for Independent User & C- for Proficient User) that can each be further divided into two levels; for each level, it describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Contact Management

Contact management is a sophisticated system that is used to organize contact center information by tracking and monitoring various lines of communication.


Contingency Planning

Businesses usually develop contingency plans, in case unfavorable situations arise. It is a detailed plan for prevention and recovery, that defines all the procedures that must be implemented at that time.

Contract Staffing

Contract staffing, refers to a service used for recruiting staff from separate sources within a call center on a contract, for a specific job or campaign, usually during business peaks to handle the surge of incoming calls. Many staffing agencies help call centers recruit agents according to their changing needs.

Conversion Rate

A key performance indicator (KPI) that measures an agent's proficiency in closing sales deals. It is calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of calls taken.

Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce is a term coined by Uber's Chris Messina. It can be described as e-commerce transactions carried out through voice, emails, and text channels to connect consumers with companies, brands, and services via artificial intelligence (AI).

Cost Benefit Analysis

AKA benefit cost analysis, is a procedure used to measure or estimate the costs and benefits of a decision, or course of action over a certain period of time, as well as the costs and benefits of the alternative options.
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