A To Z Glossary Of Call Center Terminology

MyOperator / Blog / A To Z Glossary Of Call Center Terminology

Language is a very strong construct. It is constant yet ever-evolving. It is the backbone of every work sector as well. Every industry has its jargon and acronyms which cannot be used in daily life. Just like any other industry, the call center industry has its terminology too. If you are a part of this industry or you work in a call center then you must be aware of the call center terminology to communicate fluently and understand easily what your co-workers are saying. With the passing time, you will eventually learn all the call center terminologies, the more time you’ve worked in a particular sector the more learned you will be. 

We are here to help you with the A to Z terminologies of the call center. This glossary incorporates the commonly known as well as the lesser-known terms to help you brace for efficient work. 

Call Center Terminology

Given below if the call center glossary which might come in handy if you work at a call center or if you’re planning to join one. This call center term glossary also consists of all the crucial call center abbreviations. 


Abandoned Call 

This is a call that is received in the records of the call center but it is terminated by the dialer before an agent could pick it up or without any selection in IVR. 

Abandonment Rate

It is the opposite of the answer rate. It is the percentage of people who terminated a phone call before an agent could connect or without making a selection in the IVR unit. 


It stands for Automatic Call Distributor, ACD helps in routing a call to a specific department/agent in an organization based on already programmed distribution rules. It intends to route the call to the most appropriate agent according to the information available. 


It stands for after-call work, it refers to the tasks of the agent after a call has ended. This is the work that is immediately done after a call and before the agent takes up the next contact. This can also be referred to as Post Call Processing or Wrap-up. 

Adherence To Schedule 

It is a call center terminology used to describe how well an agent could stick to their schedule. It incorporates both times devoted to taking calls during the shift and time taken to handle the calls effectively. It is also called compliance or simply adherence. 


A person who is responsible for handling customer queries in a call center. 

Agent Status

It means the mode in which an agent is for instance, in talk time, unavailable, doing after-call work, etc.


This call center abbreviation stands for All Trunks Busy, it comes when all the trunks are busy in a particular trunk group. 

Automated Greetings

This call center terminology refers to the greetings that any caller hears as soon as they dial the call. It is a pre recorded verbal message played to the callers. 

Answer Rate 

Refers to the number of calls taken by the agent in terms of the number of calls offered. 

Auxiliary Work State 

It is the work mode other than handling calls. During this, the agent might be taking care of the background work or working on important documents but he/she does not have to take any calls.

Available Time

Total time an agent or a group of agents waited for the calls to arrive. 

Average Delay

It is the average time taken by the executive to take a call or the average time a customer has to wait for his/her call to be received. 

Average delay to abandon

It is the average time a caller had to wait before they disconnected the call. 


Average handle time refers to the amount of time an agent was indulged in an incoming call. 

Average Speed of Answer 

The amount of time an agent took to receive a call. 


Base Staff

The minimum number of executives required for their services in a given period. They are also called bodies in chairs or seated staff. 


Measuring a particular performance against the already set bar. 

Beep Tone

Audible notification of arrival of a call. 


This call center terminology means too much traffic, that prevents callers from entering the queue.

Blocked Call

A call that couldn’t be connected because of busy conditions. 

Busy Hour 

A term used to describe that time of the day when there is maximum calling and most of the trunks are busy. 


Call blending 

A system of organizing the flow of calls. It can be done both manually or by automated systems. 

Callback messaging 

This call center terminology is used for the feature which enables a caller to drop text for a return call rather than staying on hold. 

Call by call routing

The process of routing each call to the right department and the most appropriate agent for a given query. 

Call detail recording 

ACD captures and records all the conversations between a caller and the agent. 

Computer telephony integration 

It is the software used to integrate telephones with computers so they can function together efficiently. 

Completed call

A call, that has been terminated after solving the complete query of a caller. 

D – G

Delay announcements

Pre-recorded announcements played for the callers on hold or in the queue.

Delayed call

A call that is placed in a queue for connecting later. 

Dialed Number identification service

It is a feature of ACD used to find out which number the caller has called and which department is supposed to resolve the issue. 

Dynamic network routing 

Service provided to dynamically change where the call is to be routed. 


This call center terminology refers to measurement of traffic usage. 1 erlang = 3600 seconds of usage in an hour. 

Error Rate 

Several faulty steps in a transaction. 

Escalation Plan 

Plan of required actions to be taken when the queue starts building up beyond a certain level. 

First call resolution 

A situation in which the caller’s issue is solved in the first call itself and no follow-up call is required. 

Fast clear down 

Immediate termination of the call by a caller as soon as they hear the delay announcement. 

Flushing out the queue

The process of redirecting calls in the queue to shorter queues or available agents. 

Grade of service

Possibility of receiving a busy signal on a trunk or group of trunks. 

H – M

Handled calls

The number of calls handled by the agent. (Blocked and abandoned calls are not counted)

Home Agent 

A remote agent or an agent who works from home rather than a central office. 

An automated telephony setup that interacts with the caller. It can play recorded greetings, routs calls, etc.

Invisible queue

A situation in which callers are unaware of how long that waiting queue is. 

Internet Telephony 

Technology that enables users to place calls over the internet thus, enabling long-distance calls. 

Load balancing 

A term used for balancing the traffic among trunks. 

Longest delay to abandon 

The longest period for which a caller waited in the queue before ending the call. 

Look ahead routing 

The capability of the system to look for busy and free trunks before directing a call to any trunk. 


A performance measure.


The mediating software between the software and hardware for their seamless functioning. 


The amalgamation of multiple forms of media while communicating information. 


The practice of assessing the performance of an agent by listening to the conversations between him/her and the caller. 

N – S 

Next available agent 

This call center term refers to the process of routing the first call from the queue to an available agent. Through this practice, there is an equal workload among the agents and the callers also do not have to wait in the queue. 

Network Control Center 

This is the center that regulates the traffic, routing threshold, and takes decisions regarding the basic staff. 

Non-ACD in calls

These are the calls that are for a specific agent. These calls are either a person or a call on a particular agent’s extension number. 


It is the percentage of time that an agent was occupied or was handling calls in the total active time. 

Offered calls

These are the calls that the automatic call distributor receives. Both attended and abandoned calls are incorporated in this category. 


The time of the day other than the busiest hour of the call center. 

Open Ticket

This call center terminology refers to the unresolved query or transaction of a caller.


Getting in touch with other call centers is called outsourcing. 


Calls that overflow from one place to another group site. It can also be referred to as interflow i.e. when calls flow from one group site to another within the organization. 

Performance Standard

A set benchmark of performance and services expected from all the agents. It is the ideal standard of work expected from all the agents of the call center.

Peaked Call Arrival 

A sudden increase in call traffic in a very short period. 

Percent Utilization

Same as occupancy.

Post call processing

Same as ACW.

Predictive dialing

A system that automates the method of outbound calls and assigns them to an agent when they are answered. 

Private branch exchange (PBX)

An integrated telephone system that handles all the calls for the call center. 

Private network

A network that is exclusive to a particular organization. 

Quality Monitoring

Monitoring calls and desktops to make sure that ideal quality work is being delivered. 


This call center terminology is used for the line of delayed calls or calls waiting. (emails and text messages are also incorporated)

Queue Time

Same as delay time. 

Random call arrivals 

It is a normal random call arrival. Read peak call arrival for more. 

Real-time adherence

Measurement of how strictly do the agents follow their schedule. 

Recorded announcement

The announcements that callers hear while they are in the queue. This announcement can either be an advertisement or simply a delay message for the caller. 


Dialing a phone number again and again. 

Real-time management 

Making the desired changes and adjustments in the routing threshold according to the queued calls. 

Response Time

Time taken by an agent to respond to the offered call. 

Round Robin Distribution 

Routing calls according to the schedule or making significant changes as per the queued calls and availability of agents. 


A planner that states that when will a particular agent be handling the calls in a day. 

Schedule adherence 

This call center terminology refers to the point till which an agent sticks to his given schedule. 


The logical explanations or pre-determined answers for common questions asked by callers. 

Schedule horizon

The time period after which a new schedule will be created. Some take a period of 7 days while others continue with the same schedule for the rest of the year.

Service quality 

The measure of how well a call was handled by an agent. 

Service level

A measure of how many calls were taken in a fixed period of time. For eg., 40% of calls were finished within 10 minutes. 

Service level agreement 

An agreement between two parties related to the expected service level and the service level to be delivered. 

Silent monitoring

This call center terminology can also be called secret monitoring. In this, a senior listens to the conversation between the caller and the agent to analyze the agent’s performance and makes suggestions about the scope of improvement. Neither the agent nor the caller is aware of the monitoring. 

Skill-based routing 

This is done on the basis of the skills and caliber of an agent. Calls are routed to the agent of the most appropriate skill set and who can cater to the caller’s needs. 

Speed of answer 

Same as the speed of response.

Staff to workload ratio 

It refers to the ratio of staff working hours to the workload hours. 

Smooth call arrival 

Calls that arrive evenly without causing unnecessary traffic during a particular time. 

T – Z

Talk time 

The difference between the time when the call is connected to the agent and the time when he disconnects.


A single channel between the caller and the receiver. 

Trunk time hold 

The time for which a particular trunk was busy. It is calculated from the time when ACD attributes it to be busy till the time call is cut. 


Using telecommunication services to work from a remote rather than a central organization.

Traffic control center 

Same as the network control center 

True calls per hour

An actual number of calls handled by an individual in an hour. 

Unavailable time 

This call center terminology refers to the amount of time an agent was not handling calls or the amount of time devoted to the work other than handling calls. 

Universal Agent 

An agent who can handle all kinds of calls including both inbound and outbound.

Virtual call center

Where agents work together from remote locations and calls are taken over the internet. Virtual call centers are very prevalent in today’s time because of the flexibility they offer to both the agent and organization. 


Voice over internet protocol. It refers to communication via the internet. It is a feature of cloud calling. 

Visible queue 

Callers are aware of how long the queue is. 

Voice recognition system 

A telephone system that uses only speech recognition for activation. 

Workflow management 

Planning of how work will take place and or how the tasks should be performed. 

Workforce management 

The way of managing the number of agents and how they work. 


Sum of total call time and after-call work time. 

Wrap-up time 

Same as after-call work. 

Zip tone 

Same as a beep tone.

Srishti Panwar
Srishti Panwar

Srishti Panwar is a content writing intern at My Operator. She loves reading and writing. If she is not with the books, she is probably out playing badminton. She is a fitness enthusiast and likes to indulge in creative chores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10,000+ Businesses Activated
200 Million Calls Enabled
4.5 Google Rating

#1 Ranked in India's Cloud Telephony Leadership Matrix

Try MyOperator for free