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

A call where the caller has hung up before the call is answered by an agent

Abandon Call Rate

Its 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 Platforms – Specialist software platforms that direct calls to the most appropriate consultant based on listed and acknowledged parameters. They may also play delay announcements and generates all real time and historical data of the calls received.


Average handle time – this is the average handle time to service calls.


This is the average speed of answering an incoming call. It may also be known as the average delay of calls. This metric looks at the service level from the customer’s perspective.

CRM (Customer relationship management systems)

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.

Dialler (or predictive dialler)

Software platform 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.


Interactive voice response – platforms which are upfront 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


On a general business level it 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

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

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.

WFM (Work force management tools)

Software tools designed to predominately 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 benifits of the use of these systems help improve service and reduce costs.

Grade of Service (GOS) (also known as TSF or Service Level)

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

Telephone Service Factor (TSF) (also known as GOS or Service Level)

The percentage of calls answered within the time frame specified by the business