Glossary Terms - United World Telecom Knowledgebase

Glossary Terms

Abandoned Calls:
An Abandoned Call is a customer call made to a business that ends before the customer connects with a representative. Usually, customers abandon the call when they are frustrated due to waiting for a long time or dealing with a confusing voice response system.

Agent Absenteeism:
Agent Absenteeism refers to the number of days work productivity is lost or low due to an agent not showing up during unauthorized leave.

Application Programming Interface (API):
Application Programming Interface (API) is a service or software intermediary that enables the communication between two applications. In other words, an API is an interface that allows users to integrate one service within another application.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD):
An Automatic Call Distribution system or ACD is a telephony service that receives incoming calls and automatically transfers them to the right agent based on rules such a location, time, skills needed, etc.

Automatic Data Synchronization:
Data synchronization is the ongoing process of synchronizing data between two or more devices or software and updating changes automatically between them to maintain consistency within systems. This happens automatically instead of the manual re-entering of data.

Average Abandonment Rate:
The Average Abandonment Rate is the percentage of abandoned calls a business experiences within a given period. High abandon rates mean that your customers are giving up before reaching a customer service rep. This could be due to long wait times, your business is harder to reach, or complicated voice response systems.

Average Call Duration (ACD):
Average Call Duration (ACD) is a call center metric that calculates the average length of phone calls. This information can be obtained through call detail records.

Average Handle Time:
The Average Handle Time is the average duration of the whole customer call interaction between an agent and the customer. This starts when the customer calls and includes the agent-customer exchange, hold times, transfers, resolutions, and after-call work done by the agent.

Average Response Time:
The Average Response Time metric measures how long your agents take to respond to customer calls. This is calculated by taking the title time taken to respond to calls during a certain time frame and dividing it by the number of responses made within that time frame.

Average Speed of Answer:
The Average Speed of Answer is a call center KPI that measures the time taken to answer a call. This metric is calculated for a specific time frame and includes the sum of the caller’s time in the queue and spent waiting for a rep to answer the call.

Average Time in the Queue:
The Average Time in the Queue is another call center metric that measures the total time customers wait in a call queue to speak with a rep or agent divided by the total number of calls.

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Bandwidth is the capacity of a computer network to transfer data in bits per second (Bps). High bandwidth means more and heavy data can be transferred while low bandwidth leads to data transfer issues.

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Call Center / Contact Center:
A Call Center or Contact Center is a centralized office that receives and transmits a large volume of business calls. In other words, call or contact centers can make and receive business calls offering sales and customer support services.

Call Forwarding:
Call Forwarding is a telecom service that forwards or routes incoming calls from one location to another. For example, calls made to a landline can be forwarded to the person’s smartphone or a different department. Or, calls made to a Mexico phone number can be forwarded to another phone line or location. Callers are not aware of being forwarded while it happens.

Call Logging:
Call logging (also called Call Detail Records) is the process of collecting, analyzing, and storing phone call data. Logs typically include the call origin, call destination, the length of the call, call notes, and other transmission details. This process is automated and call logs can be stored for later review.

Call Queues / Call Queuing:
Call Queues (also known as Call Queue Management or Call Queuing) is a call center feature where callers call a business, they hear a greeting, followed by a menu for options. Upon selecting an option, they are placed in a queue till an agent or employee is made available. During this wait time, they hear hold music or company updates or a queue update like “You are 4th in line.”

Call Recording / Hosted Call Recording Software:
Hosted call recording is a virtual communication feature hosted and run by your VoIP provider. This call recording software lets users record all incoming and outgoing calls, which can be reviewed and referred to in the future for quality assurance, performance reviews, Voice of Customer (VoC) research, customer feedback, and compliance.

Call Routing:
Call Routing is a telecom service that enables users to route calls to different locations, devices, or lines, as needed. The purpose is to route callers effectively to the correct department or service and manage call volume.

A click-to-call service is a business calling tool that lets you place VoIP calls by clicking a linked phone number. This way, you make calls without having to dial or type a number in. You simply click on the lead or customer’s name or a call icon and instantly place the call.

Cloud Call Center / Virtual Call Center:
A Cloud Contact Center is a cloud, virtual, or internet-based call center that handles inbound and outbound communications for different businesses. This call center is hosted on the cloud or virtually, allowing agents to work from anywhere.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS):
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based multichannel communication platform. CCaaS solutions are customer-centric; that is, they are geared towards the needs of sales and customer support teams. CCaaS providers create and maintain the communication software while the business simply uses it to streamline communication.

Customer Journey Mapping:
Customer Journey Mapping is the process of paying attention to the journey your customer takes to reach your business and make a purchase. Mapping customer journeys can help companies understand the story of how their customers travel across their brand and interact with their products and what makes them purchase a product or service.

Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT):
Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) is a call center metric that measures the average customer satisfaction of a brand or its products and services. CSAT can be calculated through surveys and feedback forms. A common question used in CSAT surveys is, “On a scale of 1 – 5, how satisfied are you with your experience?”

Customer Success:
Customer Success is the process of providing proactive customer support and service. This includes anticipating customer challenges and pain points and reaching out to them beforehand to provide resources and support. Customer success also includes working closely with customers to help them reach their goals.

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Direct Inward Dialing / DID Numbers:
Direct Inward Dialing or DID is a service that routes incoming calls directly to a business’ VoIP system or another phone number located anywhere in the world. This way, customers can directly dial extensions to reach the right representative without interacting with an operator, receptionist, or IVR system.

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First Call Resolution (FCR):
The First Call Resolution rate calculates customer query resolution during the initial call. This means that no follow-up was required, and the agent was able to resolve the customer’s question or concern on the first contact.

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Hunt Groups / Line Hunting:
Hunt Groups, Line Hunting, Call Hunting, and Call Routing refer to a phone system service that connects incoming calls to multiple phone lines and numbers simultaneously.

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Inbound Calls:
Inbound Calls refer to incoming calls a business receives. These are calls that come into a business and are usually customer calls for inquiries or customer support.

Interactive Voice Response / Cloud IVR System:
Cloud IVR is an automated and interactive voice response system that answers incoming calls, interacts with the caller, identifies the caller’s purpose, and proceeds to help the customer by connecting them to the right department or helping them complete actions through the phone. The IVR system provides callers with company information and menu options to help the caller navigate the phone system and get the right help.

International Call Forwarding:
International Call Forwarding is a telecom service that enables calls to be forwarded internationally from one country or region to another. For example, your UK customers can call your UK phone number, and you can have these calls forwarded internationally to your business office in the US. An international call forwarding can help your business save international communication costs by bypassing exorbitant international calling rates.

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During VoIP and SIP calls, data packets containing voice signals need to be transferred from one end-point to another. These packets may take different routes to get to the end destination. Jitter occurs when a data packet is not delivered along with the rest of the packet. This can lead to low call quality and missing or jumbled audio.

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Latency is the lag or delay that occurs when two speakers are on the phone. This delay occurs between the moment the speaker speaks and the receiver hears. Latency can lead to echoes, speakers talking over each other, and missed audio, making it challenging to communicate effectively.

Location-Based Routing:
Location-based Routing is a telecom forwarding service that routes calls from one line to another based on the caller’s location. This type of routing aims to enable users to get support in their location, time zone, and language preferences.

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Mean Opinion Score (MOS):
The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) is used to measure the call quality of VoIP calls. MOS calculates this score by taking into account the user’s opinion of the call on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent). A good VoIP call quality score is in the 3.5-4.2 range.

Multichannel Contact Center:
A Multichannel Contact Center offers multichannel inbound and outbound customer communications for businesses.

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North American Numbering Plan (NANP) is the telephone numbering plan for the following regions: North America and the Caribbean.

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Occupancy Rate:
Occupancy Rate is a metric that tracks the total time agents are on calls. This may also include the time agents spend on completing other customer- or work-related tasks.

On-Premise Contact Center:
An On-Premise Contact Center is a contact center run and maintained by the business on their premise or onsite. The business may develop the contact center software and customize it to their needs. The business is also in charge of the installation and maintenance of this system.

Outbound Calls:
Outbound Calls refer to outgoing calls a business makes. These are calls that go out from a business to its customers and prospects and are usually sales, lead generation, and customer success calls.

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Packet Loss:
During VoIP and SIP calls, voice signals are transmitted from one user to another through data packets. When one or more data packets are lost during such transmission, it is called Packet Loss. Missing or lost packets lead to bad call quality and missing audio.

Private Branch Exchange / Hosted PBX:
A Private Branch Exchange is a telephony solution that enables the communication between users of a private network such as an office. Hosted PBX (also known as Cloud PBX, Virtual PBX, and Cloud Phone System) is handled and managed by your PBX service provider and works over the internet. Hosted PBX connects to a PSTN and brings advanced communication features to a traditional phone system.

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Regulatory Recovery Fee:
This 14.3% fee applies to monthly service plans, additional services and additional usage. It is assessed to help recover a portion of costs incurred in funding and complying with worldwide government regulations, mandates, programs and obligations. This fee is subject to change from time to time as the cost of compliance changes.

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Session Initiation Protocol (SIP):
SIP is Session Initiation Protocol and is used in IP and traditional telephony to transmit voice calls securely among two or more users.

Simultaneous Ring / Ring Multiple Phones with One Number:
Simultaneous Ringing (also known as Simultaneous Ring) is a telecom service that allows incoming calls to ring on multiple phones at the same time. This means that the next available employee or agent can quickly jump on the call so that the caller does not have to wait for long.

SIP Channel / SIP Line:
A SIP Channel or SIP Line is a part of a SIP trunk through which data is exchanged between two endpoints. Each SIP channel equals one voice call. A SIP trunk can hold a large number of SIP channels. This means that with a SIP trunk, multiple concurrent calls can occur at the same time.

SIP Trunks / SIP Trunking:
SIP Trunking is a telecom service that connects to an existing PBX system and uses VoIP technology to share voice, video, and other unified communications over an internet connection.

SMS Forwarding:
With SMS Forwarding, businesses can receive incoming text messages from customers and clients in their inboxes. You can forward incoming SMSes to one or multiple email addresses, which can be accessed on computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. SMS Forwarding gives your customers another convenient way to connect with your business.

Softphone / Webphone / Web Dialer:
A Softphone (also known as Webphone or Web Dialer) is software that converts any device into a phone. In other words, a softphone gives a computer, laptop, or smartphone the ability to make and receive business calls from any location.

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Time-Based Routing:
Time-Based Routing (also known as Time of Day Routing) is a telecom service that enables a business to forward or route incoming calls from one location to another during certain times of the day, such as after-hours or the weekends. These calls can be sent to the home office, remote workers, outsourcing services, etc., to offer business continuity and uninterrupted service.

Transport Layer Security (TLS):
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a security protocol that adds and facilitates data security and privacy for virtual communication. This protocol is widely used in VoIP and SIP communication.

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Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS):
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a unified cloud communication platform for multichannel business communication, including voice, video, text messaging, conferencing, etc. UCaaS solutions are geared towards internal communication and encourage collaboration, workflow, flexibility, and mobility.

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A Voicemail is an electronically stored voice message left by a caller when calling a business. This voice message is sent to the business’ voicemail inbox and can be retrieved later by the intended recipient. A caller can leave a voicemail message when the receiver is busy and unable to receive the call.

Voice of Customer Research (VoC):
Voice of Customer (VoC) is the way your customers perceive and talk about your products as well as their experiences or interactions with a business, brand, and products. VoC research is a research method where businesses collect detailed customer feedback and opinions about the business or specific products and services used. This information can then be used to create better products and experiences for your customers.

Voice over IP (VoIP):
VoIP (also known as voice over IP or voice over internet protocol) is a telecom service that allows users to make and receive calls over an internet connection. VoIP converts voice signals into digital packets and transmits them from one user to another over the internet. This way, users can communicate quickly from any location and device.

Virtual Call Center Software:
Virtual Call Center Software includes cloud call center features and tools that regular businesses and enterprises can use. This software helps businesses run remotely and keep their employees and agents connected virtually.

Virtual Voicemail:
Virtual Voicemail enables users to receive incoming voicemails not only in voicemail format but also in the form of an audio attachment in their inbox. You can set voicemails to be forwarded to your email address and then store in on your phone, computer, or the cloud, as needed. Virtual Voicemail makes it easy to access voicemails from any device and location.

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Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a free, open-source project using HTML5 specification designed to add real-time communication to web browsers and webphone apps. Popular uses of WebRTC include softphones as well as voice and video apps. Popular examples of WebRTC include Google Hangouts, Google Meet, WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Discord, etc.

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