Call Center Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | WXYZ

A

ACD - Automatic Call Distributor. A phone system that performs four basic functions: answers incoming calls, gets information and instructions from database, determines the best way to handle the call, and sends the call to the proper agent, as soon as one is available.

active X controls - The interactive objects in a web page that provide interactive and user-controllable functions.

agent - Person who answers calls in a call center. Also called Customer Service Representative (CSR).

agent reports - Allows agents to view ?team? statistics as well as their own call log.

ANI - Automatic Number Identification. A series of numbers associated with a call. These numbers identify the phone number of the caller. Sometimes referred to as a CallerID.

analog - An analog signal, such as voice or music, that varies in a continuous manner. An analog signal may be contrasted with a digital signal, which represents only discrete states.

API - Application Programming Interface. A set of routines, protocols, and tools for using software applications.

application - The automated transaction (interactions) among the caller, the voice response system, and any databases or host computers required for your business.

ASR - Automatic Speech Recognition. See Natural Language Speech Recognition.

average handling time - The amount of time an agent is occupied on an incoming call.

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B

barge-in - A capability provided by Natural Language Speech Recognition that allows callers to speak or enter their responses during the prompt and have those responses recognized. See also echo cancellation.

byte - A unit of storage in the computer. On most systems, a byte is 8 bits (binary digits), which is the equivalent of one character of text.

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C

call center - A centralized place where calls are answered and calls are made. See also: Contact Center.

call distribution - The call volume distributed over the hours of the day.

call volume - The number of contacts or transactions per second.

caller - The party who calls for a service, gets connected to the system, and interacts with it.

central office - A location in which large telecommunication devices such as telephone switches and network access facilities are maintained. These locations follow strict installation and operation requirements.

chat messages - Allows agents and supervisors to communicate during a contact. Reduces hold times and increase first and final contact resolution.

container user interface - Consolidates Telephony & Email contacts into one desktop interface for easier management.

contact center - A centralized place where messages in a variety of media are sent and received. See also: Call Center.

Conversant - An old Avaya Hardware Platform on which HTI built software applications for IVR and NLSR.

CT Connect - A computer telephony call control server software that connects a range of telephone switches to a variety of data processing environments.

CTI - Computer Telephony Integration. Computer control and functionality applied to telephony hardware.

CTI Server - House the server software that monitors telephony events (ringing, busy etc.) at the switch.

CRM - Customer Relationship Management. A strategy used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships with them. CRM helps businesses use technology and human resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers. If implemented properly, CRM will provide better customer service, make call centers more efficient, cross sell products more effectively, help sales staff close deals faster, simplify marketing and sales processes, discover new customers, and increase customer revenues.

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D

database - A structured set of files, records, or tables. Often abbreviated DB. A collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data. You can think of a database as an electronic filing system.

dB - decibel

DID - Direct Inward Dialing. Dialing within a company without going through an operator.

Directed Dialog - The simplest type of speech automation that prompts callers for specific set of answers.

DPR - Dial pulse recognition. A method of recognizing caller pulse inputs from a rotary telephone.

DNIS - Dialed Number Identification Service. A feature of 800 or 900 lines that identifies the phone number the caller dialed to reach the attached computer telephony system.

DTMF - Dual Tone Multi Frequency. Touchtone dialing. In DTMF, pushing the button sends a combination of two tones' one high frequency, one low frequency.

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E

echo cancellation - The process of making the channel quiet enough so that the system can hear and recognize Natural Language inputs during the prompt. See also barge-in.

enterprise data window - Brings additional data to the agent desktop such as call history by ACD queue and data gathered through an IVR system.

ERM - Short for Enterprise Relationship Management. ERM relates to solutions allowing an enterprise to share customer, product, competitor and market information to accomplish goals of meeting long-term customer satisfaction and increased revenues

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G

grammar - The inputs that a recognizer can match (identify) from a caller.

Grxml - GrXML = XML format of a syntax for representing grammars for use in speech recognition so that developers can specify the words and patterns of words to be listened for by a speech recognizer, as defined by the W3C forum The other format defined by the W3C forum, for representing these grammars is an Augmented BNF Form.

GUI - Graphical User Interface. A program interface that takes advantage of the computer's graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use.

GVP - Genesys Voice Platform, see Voice Platform.

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H

hardware - The physical components of a computer system. The central processing unit, disks, tape and diskette drives, and so on, are all hardware.

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I

integrated browser - Provides agents with easy access to frequently used sites on the internet or company intranet. Administrator configures accessible URLs.

ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network. An international standard for sending voice, video, and data over digital telephone lines or normal telephone wires.

ISV - Independent Software Vendor. A company that has an agreement with HTI to develop software to work with the system to provide additional features required by customers.

IVR -Interactive Voice Response. A system that uses responses from a touch tone telephone to gather and store data. It uses a human voice to read back. When set up with voice recognition software, data can be gathered through voice instead of touch tone. See also VRU.

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K

key stroke macros - No coding required for defining agent workflows. Monitors your keystrokes to define a workflow.

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L

line side E1 - A digital method of interfacing a system to a PBX or switch using E1-related hardware and software.

line side T1 - A digital method of interfacing a system to a PBX or switch using T1-related hardware and software.

LAN - Local Area Network. A data communications network in a limited geographical area. The LAN provides communications between computers and peripherals.

Logs - A record of actions that have occurred.

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M

marquee messages - Allows supervisors to instantly broadcast messages to all agents or groups of agents.

megabyte - A unit of memory equal to 1,048,576 bytes (1024 x 1024). It is often rounded to one million.

menu - Options presented to a user on a computer screen or with voice prompts.

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N

NLSR - Natural Language Speech Recognition. An advanced type of speech recognition. NLSR can recognize particular words and phrases, but it can also interpret and assign meaning to those words and phrases. NLSR can also recognize natural numbers and currency amounts. Because of the greater vocabulary and grammar requirements associated with NLSR, it works best with an external speech recognition or "proxy" server.

NLU - Natural Language Understanding. The ability to understand complex expressions spoken in a more natural, free-style manner.

NVP - Nuance Voice Platform, see Voice Platform

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P

PBX - Private Branch Exchange. A private switching system, either manual or automatic, usually located on the customer's premises.

phoneme - A single basic sound of a particular spoken language. For example, the English language contains 40 phonemes that represent all basic sounds used with the language. The English word one can be represented with three phonemes, w - uh - n. Phonemes vary between languages because of guttural and nasal inflections and syllable constructs.

phrase - A set of one or more words used within an application. Examples include "Thank you for calling XZY Business," "One," and "At the tone, press?."

port - A connection or link between two devices that allows information to travel to a desired location.

predictive dialing - A method of making many outbound calls without people, and then passing answered calls to people as the calls are answered. A computer makes the dialing decisions based on certain algorithms.

processor - In system documentation, the computer on which the system software runs. In general, the part of the computer system that processes the data. Also known as the central processing unit.

prompt - A message played to a caller that gives the caller a choice of selections in a menu and asks for a response.

proxy server - A server external to the system used in a client/server configuration to perform processor-intensive functions, such as Natural Language Speech Recognition or text-to-speech.

PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network. The public telephone network to which telephones, ACDs, and PBXs are connected.

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Q

queue - A type of directory number created to hold calls or messages that are waiting to be picked up.

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R

recognizer - The part of the system that compares caller input to a grammar to correctly match (identify) the caller input.

reports agent - Allows agents to view team statistics as well as their own call log.

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S

supervisor - Skill Statistics, Agent Statistics, ACD States

screen pop - A method of delivering a screen of information to a telephone operator at the same time a telephone call is delivered. This is accomplished by a complex chain of tasks that include identifying the calling party number, using that information to access a local or remote ORACLE database, and pulling a form full of information from the database using an ORACLE database utility package.

SCSI - Small Computer System Interface. A disk drive control technology in which a single SCSI adapter circuit card plugged into a PC slot is capable of controlling as many as seven different hard disks, optical disks, tape drives, and so on.

server - A provider of resources.

SNMP - simple network management protocol.

softphone controls - Allows agents to control calls from the PC. Saves time for agents simultaneously working with the phone and other desktop applications.

speech energy - The amount of energy in an audio signal. Literally translated, it is the output level of the sound in every phonetic utterance.

SQL - Structured Query Language. A standard data programming language used with data storage and data query applications.

switch - A software and hardware device that controls and directs voice and data traffic. A customer-based switch is known as a private branch exchange.

system administrator - The person assigned the responsibility of monitoring all system software processing, performing daily system operations and preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting errors as required.

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T

task buttons - Pre-defined task buttons allow agents to launch a 3rd party application, update CRM data, initiate automated after call tasks such as sending an email, or initiating other Windows based tools.

T1 - A digital transmission link with a capacity of 1.544 Mbps.

TCP/IP - transmission control protocol/internet protocol.

telephone network connection - The point at which a telephone network connection terminates on a system. Supported telephone connections are T1 and E1.

TTS - Text-to-Speech. An optional feature that allows an application to play speech directly from ASCII text by converting that text to synthesized speech.

trunk - A physical link (wire, optical line, and so forth) between telephone exchanges.

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U

Utterance - A single spoken unit that may consist of a word, phrase, sentence, or multiple sentences.

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V

VRU - Voice Response Unit. A software system that uses responses from a touch tone telephone to gather and store data. It uses a human voice to read back. It is sometimes referred to as the Interactive Voice Response.

vocabulary - A collection of words that the system is able to recognize using Natural Language Speech Recognition.

Voice Authentication - A biometric used to verify who the speaker says he or she claims to be.

Voice Platform - Platforms are the foundation on which voice applications are developed and deployed. They execute the commands and logic specified by the voice application, provide the speech processing capabilities (e.g., speech recognition, text-to-speech, voice authentication), enable application creation, interface to back-end systems (e.g., databases, CRM applications, legacy systems) and call center infrastructure (i.e., computer telephony integration) and provide system management and administration capabilities.

Voice Print - A set of features extracted from a sample of a person's voice that are stored in a speaker authentication system.

VOIP - Voice over Internet Protocol. A protocol enabling the transmission of voice in digital packets instead of traditional PSTN.

VUI - Voice User Interface. How a person interacts with a speech application.

VXML - Voice XML (extensible markup language). VXML is similar to HTML in that it enables users to interact with the Internet through voice-recognition technology. It relies on a voice browser and/or the telephone to access information. VXML handles input and output audio dialog, dialog sequencing, error handling and client-side scripting.

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W

W3C - World Wide Web Consortium, an international consortium of companies involved with the Internet and the Web. The organization's purpose is to develop open standards so that the Web evolves in a single direction rather than being splintered among competing factions.

workflow - The automation of procedures by imposing a set of sequential rules on the procedure.

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