Tue. May 21st, 2024

A to Z Call Center Dictionary and Terminology

If you are working in a Call Center or BPO industry, you must have heard or read some abbreviations and terms you are unfamiliar with. 

In today’s article, we have compiled a list of all the common terminologies and abbreviations used often in a call center environment and have prepared a complete A to Z Call Center Dictionary and Terminology


A to Z Call Center Dictionary and Terminology
A to Z Call Center Dictionary and Terminology


Without further ado let’s start the topic:

A to Z Call Center Dictionary and Terminology:



Abandoned Call/Chat: Those calls or chats got abandoned due to a long time waiting in the queue after an established threshold time.

Abandoned calls/chats may be further categorized by Abandoned Before threshold or after threshold as per the client’s requirement.

Abandoned Rate: The rate by which the calls or chats got abandoned is known as the Abandoned rate.

Aban. Rate Calculation: Abandoned Calls/ Total Calls Offered 


ACW is an abbreviation for After Call Work and is also known as Wrap Time. ACW is the time spend between disconnecting the call/chat and disposing of the call to take the next call.

ACW Calculation: ACW Time/ Total Chat duration


ACD is an abbreviation of Automatic Call Duration. ACD is a device of phone system which is primarily used in incoming or dialer calls and identifies the information.


Agent or Call Center agent is the person who is responsible to attends and resolve customer’s queries over the phone or chat.


AHT is an abbreviation of Average Handling Time. The time between the call /chat start and end time (includes the ACW time).

AHT Calculation: (Talk Time + Hold Time+ ACW Time)/ Calls.

Average of Metrics:

While calculating the performance of metrics for a group of people you need to calculate the average of the metrics.

Alert Tracker:

A document that is issued to a defaulter agent on performance of behavioral grounds to avoid the repetition of instance.


APR is an abbreviation of Agent Productivity Report. APR contains the performance of every agent in an Excel sheet which includes but is not limited to (AHT, Calls, ACW etc.).


Attrition is a term or metric used to calculate the number of agents left the organization in a month or week.

Often Attrition is divided into 2 parts: 

1. Voluntary Attrition: The agent himself decided to leave the organization and serve the notice in advance.

2. Involuntary Attrition: The agent was either asked to leave the organization or abandoned the organization without any prior intimation.

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Blended Process:

A blended process means a process that offers both the communication mode to a customer i.e. Voice and Non-Voice.

Read More: What is the Blended Process in Call Center


BPO is an abbreviation for Business Process Outsourcing. BPO can be used interchangeably with the term Call Center. BPO is an organization that outsources the business for a 3rd party brand.


Call Center Dictionary and Terminology
Call Center Dictionary and Terminology



BQM is an abbreviation for Bottom Quartile Management. BQM refers to the group of people who performed poorly in a call center metric, generally the lowest 25% of the group of people.


B2B is an abbreviation of Business 2 Business. It means when a call center targets an agency, a 3rd party, and an organization but not an individual then this business is termed as B2B.


B2C is an abbreviation of Business 2 Customer. As the name refers B2C is primarily termed to the businesses where a call center deals directly with the customer.


Call Center : 

Please see the BPO definition above 👆

Call Calibration 

A Call Calibration is a session conducted by the quality team to reduce the quality score variance by calibrating the quality parameter score audited by different teams.

Call Disposition:

Call Disposition means tagging a call in the same category as per the issue of the customer.


CES is an abbreviation for Customer Effort Score. CES metric is an indication of how much effort the customer had to put to resolve his query.


A call/chat is a medium of interaction between an agent and a customer.

Chat Bot:



Chat Bot
Chat Bot


Chat Bot is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) based software that works as a virtual agent to provide answers to customers.


Cluster is the segmentation of call center agents in to 4 parts on the basis of performance.


CPH is an abbreviation for Call or Chat Per Hour. The CPH metric is very important to calculate an agent’s performance.

Contact Center:

Contact Center is also usually synonymous with call center. The thin difference between a contact center and a call center is the latter only handles calls while the former handles call, chats, emails, back office, etc.

Cold Calling:

Cold Calling is a term often used in the Sales domain. When a sales representative calls a customer without any prior reference or any other details about him is known as “Cold Calling”.


CRM is an abbreviation of Customer Relationship Management. CRM can be best described as a Call Center technology that allows a customer service rep to read the history and actions taken into a customer’s account.


CSAT is an abbreviation for Customer Satisfaction which is a measure of how well a customer is satisfied with an agent’s interaction and issue-resolution approach.


CSR stands for Customer Service Representative. Read the “Agent” definition above for definition.

Customer Care:

Customer Care is a point of contact for a customer when there is an issue with a product or service.


Data Mining:

Data Mining is a term related to Data Science. In Call Center, the data miner term refers to analyzing the historical trend in data and what performance outcomes or results can be predicted from the analysis.

Data Base:

Data Base is a huge data center software that allows the collection of data.


Dialer is a Machine that stores data and automates the dialing of numbers. Some of the most common dialers chosen by call centers are Dial pad, Goto Connect, Talk desk, etc.


Call Center Dialer
Call Center Dialer


There are mainly 3 types of dialers. Below is the table for reference:
Dialer Specification
Predictive Throws the call to an available agent only when customer picks up the call
Progressive Agent can hear the ring of the call
Preview Shows customer details preview before dialing the number

Driver :

In the call center driver term denotes the call or chat category and subcategories, to identify any specific issue on any given day.



EOD stands for End of the Day. EOD term commonly used in emails when someone needs the data or report before the shift ends.

Erlang Formula :

Named after a scientist Anger Erlang, who derived a Capacity planning tool Erlnag C which can be used to calculate the required manpower to handle a specific number of calls


EWS is an abbreviation for Early Warning System. EWS term is often interchangeably used with RAG. EWS is a probable attrition report which is primarily prepared to alarm a warning for the process attrition rate in advance.


Fatal Call:

Fatal Call is a term often used by the quality department. A fatal Call means the call was scored “0” when audited on different call parameters.

Call Center Dictionary and Terminology


FCR is commonly known as the “First Call Resolution”. FCR is a measure of the customer resolution rate in the first call or chat. High FCR means the customer’s issue is getting resolved in the first call/chat.


In Call Center Forecasting term is used to predict the call or chat volume after analyzing the previous historical trend.


FRT is an abbreviation for First Response Time. This metric is primarily used in the Chat process and indicates how much time an agent takes to greet a customer.


FTE stands for Full Time Employee. Normally, a call center agent is referred to an FTE if he is serving for the full day i.e. completing 9 hrs. of shift. FTE term is calculated during the calculation of billing and generating an invoice.


Idle Time:

In Call Center Idle Time refers to the wait time between a last-ended call and the next call landed in the customer’s system.

Inbound Call Center:

A Call Center is set up where an agent receives incoming calls from a customer to report an issue or in search of issue resolution.


IVR is an abbreviation for Interactive Voice Response which is a machine to automate the response. In Call Centers, IVR is used to direct the customer’s call to the related department.



In the BPO industry, jargon refers to specialized short words or abbreviations, which can not be understood by the customer, e.g. TAT, SLA, etc.



KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator


Call Center KPI
Call Center KPI


KPI refers to those metrics that measure the performance of a Call center of an individual.


KRA means Key Responsibility Area. KRA refers to the list of responsibility areas of an individual.



The metric can be best described as a unit of measurement for a  performance calculation.


MIS stands for Management Information System. In Call Center, MIS is a team dedicated to preparing reports and dashboards to client and operations teams.



NPS is Net Promotor Score. NPS is a measure of a brand’s market credibility. A good NPS score means the brand’s customers are really liking the product.



Occupancy is a call center metric that indicates how much time a call center agent spends on receiving and resolving the customer’s concern. For easy understanding, the Occupancy is the (Total logged-in time – Idle Time) by the call center agent.

Offered Calls:

Calls offered to the call center dialer whether received or abandoned.

Outbound Call Center:

A Call center set up designed to outcall customers for generating leads, sales, and other brand promotion.


Pareto Analysis:

Pareto Analysis is also known as the 80/20 rule. In Call Center, Pareto Analysis is often used by the quality department to measure the frequent defects in call quality.


PIP stands for Performance Improvement Plan. This is a document that is issued to performance outliers to improve performance.



PKT is an abbreviation for Product Knowledge Test. This test is conducted by the quality or training team monthly or quarterly to check the product knowledge of customer service agents.


Call Center PKT
Call Center PKT



Plan of Action” is the full form of POA. This term is often used by the client to ask for a roadmap to improve performance.


Quality Analyst:

Quality Analyst also commonly known as quality evaluator is the one who audits call quality.


QMS is the abbreviation for Quality Monitoring Sheet. As the name refers this sheet works a standard sheet to audit the call/chat in an organization.


Ramp Up/Down:

In Call Center Ramp Up/ Down is related to the process of seat increase or decrease.


RAG is an abbreviation for Red, Amber, and Green. Often, the RAG term is used with the EWS term interchangeably. 

Also Read: Importance of RAG in call center 


RCA is an abbreviation for Root Cause Analysis. RCA term is often used when the client is looking for the root cause of the low performance or a dip in metrics.

Remote Agent:

When an agent is working from anywhere but not from the office known as Remote Agent.

Response Time:

The time is taken by an agent to respond to the customer in between the conversation.

Retention Process:

In Call Center, the Retention process is the one which is dedicated to retaining old customers by offering discounts and additional services.


RNR or Rewards and Recognition is a program conducted by the organization to give recognition to talents. 


RNP or Rewards and Penalties is a contract between a call center and a brand regarding the performance of metrics.


In Call Center, Roster means manpower planning for the week or month in advance.


RTA or Real Time Analyst is the one who monitors real-time monitoring tools to control the metrics.


RTM of Real-Time Monitoring is a monitoring tool that monitors each and every activity e.g. Wrap, AHT, Hold in of an agent in real-time.


Schedule Adherence:

Schedule adherence is a call center metric that refers to the logged-in time of an agent whether they are following the shift timings or not.


Shrinkage is a call center metric and is a calculation of the absenteeism rate on a particular day or shift. Shrinkage can be divided into 2 parts. Planned and Unplanned shrinkage 

To Calculate the shrinkage we can use below formula :

(No of agent absent /No. of agent rostered )*100 


SLA is an abbreviation for Service Level Agreement. In Call Center, SLA is a contract that is signed between Call center and the client to achieve the KPI metrics.


SOP is an abbreviation for Standard Operating Procedure. A document designed to follow by every department to avoid any conflict in action.

Speech Analytics:

Analysis of calls , especially with the help of speech recognition software to understand the knowledge gap in the agent and customer needs.



TAT or Turn around time is the duration (in hrs. or days) that is given to a customer as a deadline for the resolution of his query.

Team Leader:

A team leader also commonly known as a supervisor is responsible for day-to-day operations and handling agents of the team.

Tech Support:

Tech Support is often used for International Processes, which is set up to provide technical support to a customer.

Call Center Tech Support
Call Center Tech Support



TTT is an abbreviation for Train the Trainer. A training program which is designed to train the trainers.



Up Selling term is often used in a sales process. Up- Selling is a selling technique in which a salesman offers supplementary products to the customer in addition to the basic one.


Utilization is calculated in the percentage and denotes the time of an agent spends in talking wrapping and idle time/  total logged-in time of an agent. 



VOC stands for Voice of Customer. VOC is helpful to identify the root cause of customer dissatisfaction or low NPS Scores.


VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol. VOIP allows a call center agent to call a customer with the help of the internet rather than with the help of phone call.


Warning Letter:

Please see Alert Tracker.


WFM stands for Work Force Management. In a call center, the WFM team is dedicated to manpower planning and call volume forecasting.


Please see ACW.



ZTP is an abbreviation for Zero Tolerance Policy. 

Read More: What is ZTP In call center


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10 thought on “A to Z Call Center Dictionary and Terminology”
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