Call Centre Definitions and Glossary

How many times have you been in a situation where the use of Call Centre jargon has left you a little confused and intimidated?

Here is the inside understanding of some of those terms, so next time you are communicating with your Call Centre you will understand and be able to converse with them in their language!

Abandon Call

An Abandon Call is where the caller has hung up before the call is answered by an agent

Abandon Call Rate

The Abandon Call Rate is the proportion of all calls where the caller hangs up before the call is answered by an agent

Abandon Call Rate (ACR)

Abandon Call Rate is the number of calls that are abandoned by the caller before being answered by the business, usually quoted as a % of total calls received

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

Automatic Call Distribution software platforms direct calls to the most appropriate consultant based on listed and acknowledged parameters. They may also play delay announcements and generate real time and historical data of the calls received.

ACD calls are calls that have been handled by the ACD system.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average Handle Time is the average handle time to service calls.

Average Speed of Answering (ASA)

Average Speed of Answering is the average speed to answer an incoming call looks at the service level from the customer’s perspective. It may also be known as the average delay of calls.

Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM)

CRM is the label given to sets of integrated capabilities enabling existing network, ACD, and computer technologies to work together to enhance the business outcomes for the customer. Features can include, screen popping, automated dialling, call tracking, call prompting etc.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction was the first commonly used customer survey question designed to predict customer loyalty. Organisations typically report customer satisfaction as an average of all the response scores – allocating 1 to a very dissatisfied response and and a 5 to very satisfied response.

The Customer Satisfaction Question

Dialler (or Predictive Dialler)

Dialler s are software platforms which automatically dials preloaded lists for Outbound campaigns, reports on the outcomes of those call attempts and can also reorganise call attempts that have not been answered to be retried again automatically at a later time/date. Diallers come with very sophisticated reporting, campaign tracking and call blending functionality, which greatly increases efficiencies of outbound operations.

Grade of Service (GOS)

Grade of Service is the percentage of calls answered within the time frame specified by the business.

Also known as TSF or Service Level

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response platforms provide audio menu options to direct call types to the most appropriate business verticals, and can also be specific information messages at the beginning, during or end of a call cycle

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is a customer survey question and analysis approach often used by contact centres to measure customer experience and predict customer loyalty


Occupancy is the percentage of time a Contact Centre seat/pod is utilised as a comparison to total available hours. On a specific Call Centre operational level it is the percentage of time an agent handles calls versus the time the agent is available to take the call.

Right Party Connect

Right Party Connect is when the party or person who is the nominated decision maker in the relationship with your business whom you have called and have spoken to.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

The Service Level Agreement is an agreement, typically between the contact centre and the rest of the business, the sets out the service levels the contact centre will provide. It will often include Grade of Service, Abandoned Call rates, Average Handle times, sales conversation rates, and other contact centre metrics.

Service Level

Service Level the percentage of calls answered within the time frame specified by the business.

Known as TSF (telephone service factor ) or GOS (grade of service) it is the percentage of calls answered within a specified time frame as designated by the business.

Telephone Service Factor (TSF)

Telephone Service Factor is the percentage of calls answered within the time frame specified by the business

Also referred to as GOS or Service Level

Work Force Management Tools (WFM)

Work Force Management Tools are designed to aid the inbound operations of a call centre and have a range of features including:- forecasting algorithms, what if tools, scheduling mechanisms, meeting planners, reporting capabilities, time and attendance recording and payroll integration. The benefits of the use of these systems help improve service and reduce costs.