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The A-Z of Customer Contact Jargon

Category: Blog

Wanting to outsource your customer service, but unsure of the lingo? Take a look at our A-Z of Customer Contact jargon…


ACW (After Contact Work)

Work completed by the Customer Service Advisor following customer contact- this usually involves taking notes or completing actions promised to the customer.


AHT (Average Handling Time)

The average time it takes for a Customer Service Advisor to complete a customer interaction from start to finish, including ACW time.



A Customer Service Advisor will “Auto-In” both at the start of their shift and after being in an Aux Code– this means they’re logged-in and ready to take customer interactions.


Aux (Auxiliary) Codes

A Customer Service Advisor will have a set of these to choose from to advise of their status. For example: ACW, Break, Lunch, Personal, Training etc. The management team will observe a Dashboard to ensure that times in Aux Codes are being adhered to, and that enough Advisors are ready to respond to customer interactions.


Available (Idle) Time

Total amount of time a Customer Service Advisor is logged-in and waiting for a customer interaction.



Sales/marketing endeavours directed towards other businesses. As a business service, outsourcers/contact centres will market themselves to other businesses.



A brand/account to which the contact centre provides its customer contact services. Sometimes this may be a stand-alone brand; sometimes a brand may have multiple campaigns within one contact centre to represent different departments within their organisation.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

The type of system Customer Service Advisors use to record notes, or perform actions, on customers’ accounts. This information can be collated and converted in to MI.


Customer Service

Assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy/use its products.


Customer Service Advisor/Agent/Representative

Customer Service Advisors/Agents/Representatives are the frontline of customer communication for any brand. CSAs respond to customer queries and comments.



A dashboard is a quick-glance, one-screen report of live, key statistics.


DDI (Direct Dial-In)

The function of a DDI, is to re-present the caller’s telephony number to the ‘called’ party.


Email Customer Service

Customer Service provided via email.



Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, and is a key trait of a CSA.



Small digital image or icon used to express emotion.


FCR (First Call Resolution)

If FCR is achieved, then a resolution for the customer has been reached in the first instance (i.e. after just one interaction/form of contact).


FTE (Full-time Equivalent)

Hours worked equivalent to one, full-time employee. (i.e. two employees on half-day shifts would be equivalent to 1x FTE).



A seating plan in which employees are not allocated their own desk space, but, instead, are seated where available/required.



Contacts received in to the contact centre from customers.



An intranet is an internal, digital communication system used to convey notices/information to employees across the business.


IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

An IVR is an automated telephony system which interacts with customers’ voice responses to gather information and direct the call.



An internal system containing key pieces of information/updates to aid employees whilst carrying out their job rules; usually connected to the intranet.


KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

A quantifiable measure to track the progress and/or performance of an employee.


Live Chat/Web Chat

Customer service provided online via chat software.


M.I. (Management Information)

Information provided, via dashboards or reports, to aid management. This information may be relating to performance, attrition, sales, etc.



When Advisors are skilled upon multiple campaigns/accounts or various departments within a campaign. This comes in useful when campaigns/departments spike suddenly.



Contact established from within the contact centre; CSAs call/message out to existing/prospective customers.



The contracting of a third party to provide a service (in our case, customer contact!)



When the number of customer contacts/interactions, at one time, is more than anticipated.



A sequence of customers waiting for assistance.



Rapport is built successfully when both the customer and the CSA understand each other and communicate well.


Resource Planning

The ongoing planning process, adopted to ensure optimum use of human resource.


SLA (Service Level Agreement)

An SLA is a contract between a service provider and its customer to ensure that performance standards are agreed and adhered to.


Social Customer Service

Customer service provided via social media.



A sharp, sudden increase in customers contacting the customer service department.



The telephone sets provided for CSAs.


Tone of Voice

Tone of voice is the distinct personality, style, or point of view of a piece of writing or any other creative work. The language/words used, brand purpose and selling points all inform/establish your brand’s tone of voice.



When the number of customer contacts/interactions are less than anticipated.



If you need help with your customer contact, simply get in touch to find out how we can help!