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Call Centre Glossary - C

Call. Also called Transaction and Customer Contact. A term referring to telephone calls, video calls, Web calls and other types of contacts.
Call Blending. Combining traditionally separate inbound and outbound agent groups into one group of agents responsible for handling both inbound and outbound contacts. A system that is capable of call blending automatically puts agents who are making outbound calls into the inbound mode and vice versa, as necessitated by the incoming call load.
Call By Call Routing. The process of routing each call to the optimum destination according to real-time conditions. See Percent Allocation and Network Inter-flow.
Call Center. An umbrella term that generally refers to reservations centers, help desks, information lines or customer service centers, regardless of how they are organized or what types of transactions they handle. The term is being challenged by many, because calls are just one type of transaction and the word center doesn't accurately depict the many multi-site environments.
Call Control Variables. The set of criteria the ACD uses to process calls. Examples include routing criteria, overflow parameters, recorded announcements and timing thresholds.
Call Detail Recording. Data on each call, captured and stored by the ACD. Can include trunk used, time in queue, call duration, agent who handled the call, number dialed (for outgoing), and other information.
Call Forcing. An ACD feature that automatically delivers calls to agents who are available and ready to take calls. They hear a notification that the call has arrived (e.g. a beep tone), but do not have to press a button to answer the call.
Call Forwarding A service that allows an incoming call to be sent to another telephone or terminal.
Call Load. Also referred to as Work Load. Call Load is the product of (Average Talk Time + Average After-Call Work) x call volume, for a given period.
Call Management System (CMS) Software used to track customer and employee calls coming into the call center or help desk.
Call Progress Detection. Technology used in outbound dialing situations in which the person or object that answers an outbound call is determined by a computer device. Call Progress Detection (CPD) equipment analyzes the sounds on the receiving end of the phone call and determines what has answered the call, if answered. Result codes reflecting the outcome of the outbound dialing are handed off to the outbound calling software for determination of the next step In the outbound calling process.
Call Routing An application that is comprised of a class of programmed telephony solutions that automate the routing of inbound telephone calls
Call Transaction Record (CTR) CTR is a record of the entire history of each phone call as it progresses through the call center. It contains standard and application-specific information. The standard information includes time stamps, ANI, DNIS, and Agent Directory numbers. The application specific information is transparent to the Callflow Management System. This can be used to send customer records that are associated with a phone call to another CSR to perform another Procedure in the servicing process. The term Call Detail Record refers to the same type of call reporting.
Call Waiting A service that, during a call in progress, alerts you that another call is waiting to be answered
Caller ID. See Automatic Number Identification.
Caller-Entered Digits (CED). Digits callers enter using their telephone keypads. The ACD, VRU, or network can prompt for CEDs.
Calling Line Identity (CLI). See Automatic Number Identification.
Calls In Queue. A real-time report that refers to the number of calls received by the ACD system but not yet connected to an agent.
Carrier. A company that provides telecommunications circuits. Carriers include both local telephone companies and long distance providers.
Campaign Management The business process that is put in place to manage the lifecycle of a marketing campaign. Campaign management measures the yield or return from an effort to reach a set of customers through "Outbound" telephone calls from a call center or Email through a contact center. A marketing campaign is a set of promotions which are directed at a specific set of customers to get them to buy specific products and/or services. Managing the campaign involves coordinating the activities such as market segmentation and telemarketing with the collateral information required for each step.
Cause-and-Effect Diagram. A tool to assist in root cause identification, developed by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa.
CD-ROM. Compact Disc Read Only Memory. These discs hold as much as 660+ megabytes of memory.
Central Office (CO). Can refer to either a telephone company switching center or the type of telephone switch used in a telephone company switching center. The local central office receives calls from within the local area and either routes them locally or passes them to an inter-exchange carrier (IXC). On the receiving end, the local central office receives calls that originated in other areas, from the IXC.
Centralized Exchange (Centrex). (1) A type of business telephone service located on the telephone company's central office in which incoming calls are routed directly to end-user telephone sets without involving the company's PBX and outgoing calls are aggregated. (2) PBX features delivered by a central office switch, including, voicemail, transfer, forward, and local extension dialing. (3) A service provided by central offices that provides a virtual PBX to a set of extensions. It offers features such as transfer, conference, and forward within that set of extensions.
Centum Call Seconds (CCS). 100 call seconds, a unit of telephone traffic measurement. The first C is the Roman numeral for 100. 1 hour = 1 Erlang = 60 minutes = 36 CCS.
Chat. Real-time text communication exchanged between two users via their computers.
Chief Information Officer (CIO). A typical title for the highest ranking executive responsible for an organization's information systems.
Circuit. A transmission path between two points in a network.
Circuit Switching (1) Switching system in which a dedicated physical circuit path must exist between sender and receiver for the duration of the 'call'. Used heavily in the phone company network, circuit switching often is contrasted with contention and token passing as a channel access method, and with message switching and packet switching as a switching technique. (2) Basic switching process whereby a circuit between two users is opened on demand and maintained for their exclusive use for the duration of the transmission.
Circuit-Switched Network Network that establishes a physical circuit temporarily, until it receives a disconnect signal.
Client/Server Architecture. All rights reserved. A network of computers that share capabilities and devices.
Class of Service (CoS) A way of managing traffic in a network by grouping similar types of traffic (e.g., email, streaming video, voice, large document file transfer) together and treating each type as a class with its own level of service priority.
Click Stream Analysis Analyzing a viewer's movements through a web site by monitoring browser 'clicks'
Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) A(1) A company that builds and operates communication networks in metropolitan areas and provides its customers with an alternative to the local telephone company. (2) A company that files with the state public utility commission to be a competitive carrier. The company then negotiates an interconnection agreement with the Incumbent Local Exchange (ILEC).
Computer Supported Telephony Applications (CSTA) Launched by European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA), Computer Supported Telephony Applications is a Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) standard that defines a standard for connecting computers and telephone switches in an effort to foster the development of third-party applications, such as call center software. The specification has been adopted by the International Standards Organization as well as being incorporated in switching platforms from a number of vendors.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) (1) The name given to the merger of traditional telecommunications (PBX) equipment with computers and computer applications. The use of Caller ID to automatically retrieve customer information from a database is an example of a CTI application. (2) The connection between a computer and a telephone switch, which allows recording and using information obtained by telephone access. For example, CTI enables activities such as dial-up registration and fax-back.
Collateral Duties. Non-phone tasks (e.g., data entry) that are flexible, and can be scheduled for periods when call load is slow. See also IOT.
Common Causes. Causes of variation that are inherent 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. See Adherence to Schedule.
Computer Simulation. A computer technique to predict the outcome of various events in the future, given many variables. When there are many variables, simulation is often the only way to reasonably predict the outcome.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). The software, hardware and programming necessary to integrate computers and telephones so they can work together seamlessly and intelligently.
Contact Center . Evolving from the "Call Center", a system that handles and manages customer contacts regardless of the form of contact; i.e., voice, Web, email, fax, etc.
Conditional Routing. The capability of the ACD to route calls based on current conditions. It is based on "if-then" programming statements. For example, "if the number of calls in agent group 1 exceeds 10 and there are at least 2 available agents in group two, then route the calls to group two."
Continuous Improvement. The ongoing improvement of processes.
Converged Private Branch Exchange (CBX) CBXs are positioned as traditional PBX replacements and are part of an accelerating trend toward merging voice and data networks. CBXs differ from existing proprietary PBXs and key systems by being closely linked to data applications and Internet access through LANs. Some CBX products offer relatively high functionality for office telephone systems plus a basic LAN interface at prices far lower than that of similar-sized PBXs. Other CBXs offer moderate telephone system functionality plus the ability to reconfigure voice systems to run across corporate LANs and IP backbones.
Control Chart. A control chart sifts out (identifies) two types of variation in a process, common causes and special causes. See Common Causes and Special Causes.
Controlled Busies. The capability of the ACD to generate busy signals when the queue backs up beyond a programmable threshold.
Convergence The industry trend towards sharing network infrastructure and resources among disparate applications and traffic types.
Cost Center. An accounting term that refers to a department or function in the organization that does not generate profit. See Profit Center.
Cost of Delay. The money you pay to queue callers, assuming you have toll-free service.
Cost Per Call. Total costs (fixed and variable) divided by total calls for a given period of time.
Cross Selling The business techniques of associating like products to customer purchases. For example, if a customer buys letterhead there is an opportunity to sell envelopes in the same transaction.
Customer Contact. See Call.
Custom Local Area Signaling Services (CLASS) Services such as caller ID and ring back provided by a telephone company. Devices in the telephone central office that provide such services are called CLASS switches.
Customer Information Systems Systems which are geared to providing companies information about the purchasing preferences of their customers. These systems are used to identify potential customers and to retain existing customers, as well as to find out what products and services should be promoted to which segment of the customer population.
Customer Interaction Contact between a customer and a vendor organization. Each contact provides an opportunity to make a positive impact, better understand the customer's needs, and build a long-term relationship with the customer.
Customer Interaction Management Platform (CIM Platform) A packaged set of contact center core services upon which various media connections, reporting connections and desktop connections can be built. CIM Platform is very much like the Genesys Framework concept with the added functionality of a real-time interaction routing server.
Customer Interaction Points The interaction channels (e.g. telephone, email, chat, etc.) between the company and its customers where customer value and behavior can be effected.
Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) (1) Telephone terminal devices, such as handsets and private branch exchanges (PBXs), located on the customer's premises rather than on the provider's premises or in between. (2) Terminating equipment, such as terminals, phones, routers and modems, supplied by the phone company, installed at customer sites, and connected to the phone company network.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) An approach a company takes towards its customers, backed by a thoughtful investment in people, technology and business processes."
Customer Retention (1) The goal of marketing programs that seeks to maintain high levels of customer continuance. The cost of retaining customers is significantly less than the cost associated with acquiring a customer (2) A measure of the success of customer service organizations, customer retention is ensuring your customers continue to buy from you in the future.
Customer Service Representative (CSR) The contact center agent who deals with the customers.
Customer-Centric View An approach to business that puts the needs and desires of a customer as a principal criterion in any decision that impacts the customer.

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