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CSIA is pleased to provide this quick reference guide to common terms relating to contact centre operations and management. 

Abandon Rate: The percentage of callers who disconnect before reaching an agent, indicating effectiveness in call handling.


Automatic Call Distributor (ACD): A system that directs incoming calls to the most appropriate agent based on predetermined criteria, enhancing efficiency in call handling.


Average Handle Time (AHT): The average time it takes for an agent to handle a customer interaction, including talk time and after-call work.


Average Speed to Answer (ASA): The metric that measures the average time it takes for calls to be answered by a live agent after they have entered the queue. 


Callback: A feature allowing customers to request a return call, reducing wait times and enhancing convenience.


Churn Rate: The percentage of customers discontinuing contact centre services over a specific period, influencing customer retention strategies.


Complaints Management Framework: A complaints management framework is a structured and systematic approach that organizations use to handle customer complaints effectively.


Compliance Management: Ensuring contact centre operations align with legal and industry regulations, including privacy laws.


Cross-Selling: Offering complementary products or services to customers based on their current purchase or inquiry.


Computer Telephony Integration (CTI): The integration of telephone systems with computer systems, facilitating features like screen pops to enhance agent productivity.


Customer Effort Score (CES): A metric measuring the ease with which customers can achieve their goals when interacting with the contact centre.


Customer Experience (CX): The overall perception and impression that a customer has based on their interactions with a brand, product, or service across various touchpoints throughout the entire customer journey.


Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): a metric used to measure how satisfied customers are with a product, service, or interaction. Typically, customers are asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale, often ranging from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, with higher scores indicating greater satisfaction.


Customer Journey: The entire experience a customer has with a contact centre, from the first contact to issue resolution.


Customer Journey Map: A customer journey map is a visual representation that illustrates the various stages and touchpoints a customer goes through while interacting with a product, service, or brand.


Deflection: Deflection refers to the practice of redirecting or preventing customer inquiries or issues from reaching live customer service representatives by offering alternative self-service channels or solutions.

Employee Attrition: Employee attrition refers to the rate at which employees leave or resign from their positions within a contact center over a specified period of time.


Erlang C: A formula used for calculating the number of agents needed to meet a desired service level.


Escalation: Transferring a customer inquiry or issue to a higher level of support or management for resolution.


Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): A unit of measurement representing the total hours worked by a full-time employee, used for workforce planning.


First Call Resolution (FCR): The percentage of customer issues resolved during the first contact with the contact centre.


Generative AI: Generative AI involves the use of advanced algorithms, particularly those based on deep learning, to generate content or responses that mimic human-like language patterns.


Greeting Message: A scripted or automated message used by agents to welcome callers and set the tone for the interaction.


Hold Time: The duration a caller spends waiting on hold before connecting with an agent.


Inbound Call: A call initiated by a customer to the contact centre for assistance or information.


Intraday Management: Real-time monitoring and adjustment of workforce and resources to meet changing contact centre demands throughout the day.


Interactive Voice Response (IVR): A technology allowing callers to interact with a computerized system using voice or keypad inputs, streamlining call routing and information gathering.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI): Metrics used to assess contact centre performance, such as first call resolution, average handle time, and customer satisfaction.


Knowledge Base: A centralised repository of information used by agents to access relevant data during customer interactions.


Multichannel Contact Centre: A centre that supports customer interactions through various channels, ensuring a seamless and integrated customer experience.


Net Promoter Score (NPS): A metric used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is based on a simple question: "How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?" Customers are asked to respond on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being "not at all likely" and 10 being "extremely likely."


Occupancy Rate: The percentage of time agents spend actively engaged with customers or tasks.


Outbound Dialing: Initiating calls from the contact centre to customers for purposes like sales, surveys, and follow-ups.


Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): Security standards ensuring the protection of credit card information and compliance with industry regulations.


Phonetic Alphabet: The phonetic alphabet, also known as the spelling alphabet or NATO phonetic alphabet, is a standardised set of words used to represent each letter of the alphabet in oral communication. Each word is chosen to be easily distinguishable and understood, especially in situations where clarity is crucial, such as over the phone or radio.


Predictive Dialer: A system that dials multiple numbers simultaneously, predicting when an agent will be available to handle a connected call.


Quality Assurance (QA): The process of monitoring and evaluating the performance of agents to ensure they adhere to established standards and provide high-quality customer service.


Queuing: The process of managing and holding incoming calls or tasks until they can be addressed by available agents.


Remote Agent: An agent working outside the physical contact centre, often enabled by cloud-based technologies.


Routing Rules: Criteria used to determine how calls or tasks are directed to specific agents or queues.


Scripting: The use of predefined scripts or prompts to guide agents during customer interactions for consistency and compliance.


Service Blueprint: A service blueprint is a visual representation of the end-to-end process of a service, capturing both the customer-facing elements and the behind-the-scenes operational components.


Service Desk: A contact centre or department providing IT support and assistance to end-users.


Silent Monitoring: The practice of supervisors listening to agent-customer interactions without the agent's knowledge for quality assurance purposes.


Skill-Based Routing: Directing calls to agents based on their specific skills, expertise, or training.


Service Level Agreement (SLA): A formal contract specifying service expectations, response times, and performance metrics between the contact centre and its clients.


Speech Analytics: Technology analysing spoken language in customer interactions to extract insights and trends.


Upselling: The practice of suggesting additional products or services to customers during a transaction or interaction.


Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): Technology that enables voice communication over the internet, often used in contact centre phone systems.


Web Chat: Web chat is a customer support channel that allows individuals to interact with customer service representatives in real-time through text-based conversations on a website or application. Unlike traditional phone support, web chat enables users to communicate with agents via typed messages, making it a convenient and efficient option for issue resolution.


Workforce Management (WFM): The strategic process of forecasting, scheduling, and managing staff to meet service level goals efficiently.


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