Aircall Glossary:
Call Center Definitions

Need help defining a call center term or acronym? We made this call center glossary and VoIP dictionary—filled with helpful resources and articles—to help you decode your business’ telecommunications.

A
  • Abandonment rate

    The number of abandoned inbound calls divided by the total number of inbound calls is known as the abandonment rate, an important KPI for any call center. Abandoned calls are a type of missed call, in which the caller hangs up before an agent can answer. This usually happens in a call queue or when calling outside of business hours.

  • ACD

    Automatic call distribution (ACD) directs inbound calls to the correct department or agent. ACD combines call queuing and call routing to organize incoming calls in the most efficient way possible, based on specifications made by the company. ACD can prioritize certain agents, minimize wait time, and more.

  • ACW call center

    An after-call work (ACW) call center refers to software that helps streamline the The admin tasks awaiting a call center agent once a customer phone call has been completed (the process known as after-call work or ACW). Aircall’s single control interface along with other optimizations makes ACW much easier.

  • After-call work

    The admin tasks awaiting an agent once a customer phone call has been completed is known as after-call work. These tasks usually include note taking, tagging, sending a follow up email, or assigning the customer to a better suited colleague. A single control interface with advanced integrations such as Aircall makes after call work much easier.

  • Auto attendant software

    Auto attendant software, also referred to as a virtual receptionist, is software that automatically sorts and routes inbound calls to the right department or agent, based on specifications made by the company. It works in tandem with IVR, an automated menu that callers can interact with via their device keypad or through voice commands.

  • Automated call distributor

    An automated call distributor (ACD) system, otherwise known as a call routing system, directs inbound calls to the right agents based on customer needs and agent availability or skills. It’s a handy piece of software that turns a flood of calls into a manageable call queue, based on configurations of your own choosing.

  • Automated customer service

    Customer support that’s automated to some degree removes the potential for redundancy, wasted effort, and human error as well as lowering customer wait and response times. Examples of automated customer service include scripted responses, IVR menus, automatic ticket creation, follow-up email templates, and more. Read our tips on how to implement and optimize automated customer service here.

  • Automatic call distribution

    Automatic call distribution (ACD) directs inbound calls to the correct department or agent. ACD combines call queuing and call routing to organize incoming calls in the most efficient way possible, based on specifications made by the company. ACD can prioritize certain agents, minimize wait time, and more.

B
  • Blacklisted numbers

    Blacklisted numbers are an agent-controlled list of spam or otherwise unwanted numbers that are permanently blocked from calling your company. This keeps your phone lines clear for only the most important conversations. Admins can add or delete blacklisted numbers at any time directly from the Aircall dashboard.

  • Business call recording

    Call recording is valuable to any business handling customers over the phone, not only to store customer history, but also to spot quality issues, track KPIs and monitor employees or teams. With Aircall, internet-enabled VoIP audio recording is activated automatically whenever an agent picks up the phone, and recordings are stored in the cloud to be accessed at any time.

C
  • Call center

    A call center generally receives or makes a large volume of phone calls through a highly specialized telephone channel. Unlike contact centers, they don’t focus operations through other communication channels. Virtual call centers, operating through VoIP, optimize the phone channel by providing integrated services such as IVR, call routing, and more.

  • Call center analytics

    Call center analytics are crucial for tracking KPIs in a busy call center. Typical metrics measured include missed call rate, outbound call volume, call length, etc. Software like Aircall breaks down detailed call data into an easy analytical overview. Together with custom filters, this makes spotting issues and monitoring individual agents, or teams, simple.

  • Call center app

    A call center app allows a company to manage all their business phone calls and call center tasks entirely on mobile devices like laptops and smartphones through a downloadable app using only a VoIP internet connection. This makes traditional phone hardware and cables obsolete, and allows access from anywhere in the world.

  • Call center best practices

    Best practices in call centers revolve around team training, meeting management, team relationship development, and the way management communicates with staff. There are dozens of proven methods to improve team and business success rates via call center best practices.

  • Call center KPIs

    There are many call center key performance indicators (KPIs) worth measuring in a call center, such as the volume of calls answered. Performance metrics vary according to team; often split into support, sales and customer service KPIs. Read this blog post for 15 of the most valuable KPIs to assess in a call center.

  • Call center monitoring

    Call center monitoring involves quantitatively and qualitatively measuring agent performance as well as other call center KPIs, in order to improve customer satisfaction and operations. Virtual business phone systems such as Aircall offer detailed analytics to make call center monitoring simple for anyone. Here’s a useful guide to optimize call center monitoring.

  • Call center phone systems

    Call center phone systems can be hosted onsite at a place of business in the form of PBX or IP PBX, fully virtually in the cloud, or offsite and accessed through the internet. Cloud-based call center phone systems, like Aircall, are accessed via a web browser or downloadable app and offer a variety of benefits, including lower costs, ease of setup, and powerful integrations.

  • Call center quality assurance

    It’s essential to monitor agent performance to be able to drive improvements within a call center through quality assurance. Using call center software with integrated data analytics can help greatly with assessing overall, team and individual productivity and performance. Additionally, Aircall’s software provides a useful live call monitoring feature.

  • Call center queue

    A call center queue improves call center organization and makes the experience more pleasant for customers. With Aircall, inbound callers are given the option to request a call back if they don’t want to wait. This both increases customer satisfaction and reduces call abandonment rates as queue time is reduced for those customers that choose to keep waiting on the line. A true win-win feature!

  • Call center script

    A call center script is a prepared list of talking points and answers for the most common issues and questions customers might have. A call center script is used for both inbound customer service and outbound sales calls to boost productivity, lower call handling time, and improve customer happiness.

  • Call center setup

    Call center setup refers to the planning and implementation of getting a call center up and running. It involves decisions about whether to go virtual or on-site, budget and staffing considerations, and defining objectives and KPIs. It also requires choosing the right call center tools, such as a business phone system that can integrate seamlessly with a CRM, help desk, and other essential software.

  • Call center system

    Call center phone systems can be on-premise, hosted, or fully virtual solutions that do not require desk phones or specialized hardware.. Virtual cloud-based call center systems offer many advantages, including lower costs, ease of setup, and powerful integrations.

  • Call center training

    Ongoing call center training is essential for the success of any company that closes deals or offers support over the phone. Whether it’s being well versed in the technicalities of products or knowing how to stay calm during stressful conversations, it’s crucial to teach agents ways to deal with varying scenarios through call center training.

  • Call in queue

    Placing inbound callers into a call queue improves call center organization and Aircall makes the experience less stressful for customers. With Aircall, inbound callers are given the option to request a call back if they don’t want to wait. If they choose to wait, personalized hold music and messages make the experience more bearable, and after a customizable amount of time they’re directed to a personalized voicemail.

  • Call monitoring

    Call monitoring is valuable for training call center agents as well as discovering customer pain points and other areas for improvement. Real-time call monitoring allows a colleague or manager to listen in and even offer timely advice to an agent (through call whispering) without disrupting the conversation flow.

  • Call recording software

    Call recording is a useful way to store customer call history, as well as an important tool in team training and performance monitoring. With Aircall’s call recording software, both inbound and outbound calls can be recorded and accessed at any time through an integrated CRM.

  • Call routing software

    Call routing software directs inbound calls to the correct department or agent. With Aircall, call routing is customizable. Incoming calls are organized in the most efficient way possible, based on specifications made by your company, such as prioritizing certain agents and cascading down to other agents if the first choice is unavailable.

  • Call solution

    A call solution is any service that improves a company’s abilities to professionally handle inbound and outbound phone calls. Call solutions usually refer to cloud-based call center software that offer a myriad of telephony and VoIP services that can be integrated to CRM, helpdesk, productivity, and other business tools.

  • Call whisper

    Call whispering allows a manager or teammate to advise an agent from behind the scenes during any conversation with a customer, without customers ever being aware of an external presence on the call. Call whispering is useful for closing important deals or navigating tricky customer issues.

  • Call work

    The admin tasks awaiting the agent once a customer or prospect phone call has been completed is known as call work, or after-call work. These tasks usually include note taking, tagging, sending a follow up email, or assigning the contact to a better suited colleague. A single control interface makes after-call work much easier.

  • CCaaS

    Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a software solution enabling cloud-based customer support. CCaaS providers offer companies subscription licences to allow access to their service via a browser or app. Compared to on-premise call center software, CCaaS offers faster implementation, flexible scaling, and a lower admin burden.

  • Click to dial

    Also known as click-to-call, this handy time and error-saving feature highlights all phone numbers appearing on any webpage, email signature, or video to allow agents to simply click those numbers and immediately dial prospects individually or consecutively. Install the Aircall browser extension to start using click to dial on Chrome.

  • Cloud based call center

    A cloud-based call center generally uses phone support as the primary channel for customer communication. Virtual cloud-based call centers, operating through VoIP, optimize the phone channel by using powerful integrated services as well as hosting all data externally in the cloud.

  • Cloud based contact center

    A cloud based contact center is similar to a call center, but offers more communication channels with a central point of control to achieve fully virtual, omnichannel customer support. In a cloud based contact center, customer service is offered through VoIP phone systems, SMS, Email, Fax or through text chat directly on website interfaces and all data is hosted on external servers.

  • Cloud call center software

    Cloud call center software enables cloud-based VoIP customer support over the phone (distinct from a cloud contact center that operates through various communication channels, not just voice calls). It has advantages over on-premise call center software. Cloud call center software is contracted from external VoIP business phone service providers.

  • Cloud contact center software

    Cloud contact center software enables online, cloud-based customer support through various communication channels. It has several benefits over on-premise contact center software. The software is provided by external business phone service providers, accessed via a web browser or dedicated app, and is usually acquired through a subscription licence (CCaaS).

  • Computer telephony integration

    Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) describes the technology used to enable a computing device—like a desktop, laptop or smartphone—to manage telephone calls and other call center services. Aircall’s CTI enables every call-related task to be handled directly from your existing devices through a single, easy to manage interface.

  • Contact center

    A contact center is similar to a call center, but offers more possible communication channels with a central point of control to achieve omnichannel customer support. In a contact center, customer service can be offered through VoIP or traditional phone systems, SMS, email, or through live chat directly on a company’s website.

  • Contact center as a service

    Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based customer experience solution offered through a subscription license model. Compared to on-site call center solutions, CCaaS offers faster implementation, flexible scaling, and a lower admin burden.

  • Contact center vs. call center

    Call centers are optimized to handle a large volume of inbound and outbound phone calls. Contact centers work with more channels than just the phone, including web chat, email, fax, SMS etc. to provide omnichannel customer support from a single point of control. Both contact and call centers can operate virtually using VoIP technology.

  • CRM phone Integration

    A CRM phone integration syncs the contacts from your Customer Relationship Management database with your virtual call center or business phone system. It eliminates the need to switch back and forth between platforms or tabs, avoiding data entry errors and saving time. A good CRM integration updates customer history automatically and immediately during call center operations.

  • CTI

    Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) describes the technology used to enable a computing device—like a desktop, laptop or smartphone—to manage telephone calls and other call center services. Aircall’s CTI enables every call-related task to be handled directly from your existing devices through a single, easy to manage interface.

  • Customer contact center

    A customer contact center is similar to a phone-only call center, but offers more possible communication channels with a central point of control to achieve omnichannel customer support. In a contact center, customer service is offered through phone, SMS, Email, Fax or web chat. Nowadays, modern customer contact centers operate over internet-enabled VoIP technology.

  • Customer effort score

    Customer effort score (CES) is one of the metrics used to measure customer satisfaction. It helps organizations identify friction points in the customer experience. A CES survey typically asks customers to rank how easy or difficult it was to achieve a resolution during a specific transaction or event.

  • Customer engagement strategy

    The goal of a customer engagement strategy is to encourage customers to be advocates of your brand. Emotional connection is the driving force behind a successful customer engagement strategy, which can be achieved in various waysGreat customer engagement is a massive profit booster and helps product and business longevity.

  • Customer perceived value

    A customer often purchases a product based more on it’s perceived value (perceived benefit of the product - perceived cost of the product) than the product’s actual value or price. Customer perceived value is driven by emotional, logical, or physical factors, and can be hugely influenced by marketing.

  • Customer retention techniques

    Customer retention refers to how successfully a business manages to keep or retain its paying customers. Existing customers are many times more valuable than new customers, which is why strategies to keep them loyal are so fundamental. Read our 10 tried and tested customer retention techniques to prevent your customers from churning.

  • Customer service app

    Customer service apps make client support tasks easier to oversee and manage by pulling communication channels into a single interface, streamlining routine admin work or facilitating outreach. Customer service apps usually integrate with CRMs and other services. Check out our top 20 favorite customer service apps here.

D
  • Dialers

    A dialer can be classed as auto, predictive or progressive. Dialer software increases the productivity of call center agents by getting a customer on the line as quickly as possible. This is either by automating many simultaneous, or in the case of preview and power dialers (both a subset of progressive dialers), sequential outbound calls.

  • Digital PBX

    A digital PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system, otherwise known as IP PBX, is a widely used business phone system where communications are automatically routed between VoIP internet networks and the PSTN. Digital PBX still requires specialized desk phones, unlike Aircall which requires zero hardware and runs on existing devices.

H
  • Hosted contact center

    A hosted contact center enables off-site customer support through a range of communication channels like web chat, email and phone. A hosted contact center is either run entirely by a third party with external agents, or refers to a model whereby the contact center software your own agents use is hosted off-site or in the cloud, enabling remote work.

I
  • Inbound call center software

    Inbound call center software helps support teams to handle inbound calls as efficiently as possible. The software helps agents in numerous ways: through call routing, displaying customer information before and during a call, enabling easy note taking and tagging, allowing warm transfers to colleagues, automating call logging, providing call analytics and more.

  • Insight cards

    An insight card is a window of information displayed on an agent’s device screen during a business call. It’s a handy contextual summary that includes customer call history and account information to help agents in their conversations. VoIP solutions, like Aircall, offer insight cards out of the box. Follow our tutorial on how to use Aircall’s public API to activate insight cards here.

  • Interactive Voice Response

    Interactive Voice Response (IVR) refers to the automated telephony menu that callers can interact with via their device keypad or through voice commands. The initial Interactive Voice Response audio introduction is either pre-recorded or generated with the purpose to assist, direct, or route calls automatically without a live operator.

  • IP PBX

    Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange (IP PBX) is a VoIP business telephony system where calls are routed between VoIP networks and the PSTN. Servers are hosted onsite or accessed remotely via a telecom or internet service provider. IP PBX uses SIP hard phones; desk phones that call via an internet connection. Aircall’s solution differs from IP PBX in that it’s fully managed in the cloud without the use of hardware.

  • IVR

    Interactive Voice Response (IVR) refers to the automated telephony menu that callers can interact with via their device keypad or through voice commands. The initial IVR audio introduction is either pre-recorded or generated with the purpose to assist, direct, or route calls automatically without a live operator.

M
  • Measuring customer satisfaction

    Customer satisfaction is undoubtedly crucial to business, but can be tricky to objectively measure. Various metrics are used to gain insight, including customer satisfaction score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Call center analytics provide a valuable aid to measuring these metrics, as explained in our actionable guide to customer satisfaction.

  • Missed call

    A missed call refers to any inbound call where the connection is interrupted, busy, or dropped before an agent can get on the line. These calls are categorized as abandoned or missed, which is decided through specific factors. Solutions like call forwarding, IVR and voicemail are vital in reducing missed calls.

O
  • Online call center software

    Online call center software enables internet-run VoIP customer support over the phone, usually via a browser extension or desktop/mobile app. It has several advantages over on-premise call center software, and is often hosted entirely in the cloud. Cloud call center software is offered by VoIP business phone service providers like Aircall.

  • Outbound call

    Outgoing calls by agents to customers or prospects are known as outbound calls. The success of these calls depends on an effective outbound strategy as well as charismatic agents. A solid strategy clearly defines objectives and KPIs, prioritizes qualified leads, and incorporates optimized call scripts.

  • Outbound call center software

    Outbound call center software streamlines or automates tasks such as call logging, outbound dialling, and call dispositioning, creates efficient workflows through seamless CRM and helpdesk integrations, and provides detailed analytics - all through one central interface. In this way, sales teams can optimize their productivity and performance.

  • Outsourced customer service

    Outsourced customer service means paying to use the services of dedicated third-party customer support teams or agencies. Outsourced customer support helps when call volumes are high at all times of the day or are highly seasonal, when staff is unavailable or overburdened, or when space and budget is an issue. Aircall does not offer outsourced customer service, but our solution can make outsourcing easy and manageable in the cloud.

P
  • PBX line

    A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) line is part of a traditional wired business phone system with a physical PBX server hosted onsite, otherwise known as a landline. Calls travel via an automated telephone exchange to connect to other local lines and exchanges as part of the PSTN. PBX is limited in terms of capabilities; but the system doesn't require an internet connection, which is why they exist in areas with poor connectivity.

  • PBX phone system

    A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system is a wired business telephony network with a physical PBX server hosted on the company’s premises—also known as a traditional office landline. Calls travel via an automated telephone exchange to connect to other local lines and exchanges as part of the PSTN.

  • PBX VoIP

    PBX VoIP, another name for IP PBX, is a business phone system where calls are routed between VoIP internet networks and the PSTN. Servers are hosted onsite or accessed remotely via an external provider. This system relies on physical SIP desk phones, unlike Aircall which requires zero hardware.

  • Personalized customer service

    Outstanding customer service is always personal. Personalized customer service is about more than just being friendly; it requires sharing customers’ purchasing and inquiry history across teams, unifying customer data between communication channels, reducing automation, asking for feedback, and providing customers with tailored service options, such as chat, phone, email, SMS, etc.

  • Porting phone number

    If you want to hold onto your existing phone numbers from a previous carrier, Aircall can help you port over your number(s) to your Aircall account, in just a few steps. The process takes 10-40 days, and Aircall makes sure there is no or minimal service downtime during the switch.

  • Power dialer

    A power dialer is an advanced type of progressive sales dialer software. Dialing is always sequential from a predetermined number list, but all other dialing actions (skipping numbers in the queue, pausing calls, etc) are controlled by the agent, so a power dialer is used for efficiency rather than automation. This is the dialing solution for sales teams that Aircall offers.

  • Predictive dialer

    A predictive dialer is a type of sales dialer software. It’s a smarter version of an automatic dialer, dialing multiple numbers according to an algorithm and referring any answered calls to human agents. To maximize efficiency, a predictive dialer attempts to estimate exactly what percentage of calls will actually connect. Aircall’s solution is a power dialer, which is better suited for sales teams that value personalization.

Q
  • QA program

    A quality assurance (QA) program is the systematic process of making sure business results align with business goals. It sets performance benchmarks which help improve communication continuity and customer experiences. A support team must be aware of these standards. Read our guide on how to build your own successful QA program.

S
  • Sales calling software

    Sales calling software optimizes sales efforts within your teams by streamlining and automating tasks such as outbound calling, call logging and after call work. Sales calling software like Aircall also provides valuable analytical insights and integrates with powerful CRM, Workflow and Helpdesk solutions - all through one central interface. This allows sales agents to concentrate on what they do best, selling.

  • Sales dialer

    Sales dialer software automates and increases the efficiency and volume of outbound calls. Sales dialers are classed as auto, predictive, and progressive dialers. Each dialer is specialized to either dial individual numbers consecutively or dial multiple numbers simultaneously, and differ in their level of sophistication, personalization and autonomy.

  • Sales training techniques

    Sales training comes in many forms, all of which have merits. In any business, sales training should be an ongoing process - it’s a mistake to think that a new hire, however experienced, will be able to sell your product effectively without guidance. For an overview of the most common training techniques, see our blog post here.

  • Soft phone system

    In a soft phone system, phone calls are handled with a desktop or browser application on a smartphone or computer. No specialized desk phones, otherwise known as hard phones, are needed. A soft phone system places and receives calls through VoIP, which offers many benefits; including remote working and advanced call center integrations.

T
  • Team selling

    Team selling refers to a situation where colleagues from the same or different departments within the company help an agent to close a sales deal in some way. If done correctly, team selling not only increases sales success rate due to combined expertise, but also increases productivity and morale across the board.

V
  • Virtual call center

    A virtual call center offers the full suite of call center services without being bound to a physical location, as agents work remotely and all operations are hosted in the cloud. Virtual call centers rely on VoIP technology and productivity boosting software, like Aircall.

  • Virtual call center software

    Virtual call center software enables customer support over the phone, using only the internet (VoIP). Virtual call center software is downloaded from an external provider as an app or browser extension, creating a fully operational virtual call center by using only existing devices. This setup has many advantages over an on-site call center.

  • Virtual contact center

    In a virtual contact center, agents can work remotely as all customer communication channels are managed via the internet. This includes web chat, email, or phone calls made possible through VoIP phone systems. Usually, data is stored in the cloud. A contact center is distinct from a call center, which focuses purely on phone communication.

  • VoIP

    Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) refers to the transmission of voice traffic over an internet connection, rather than through physical phone lines. It’s a faster, cheaper and more scalable way of making phone calls, and has transformed the way the world does business — for example, by facilitating remote work. For more details on how VoIP works, check out this explanation on our blog.

  • VoIP call quality

    VoIP call quality refers to the clarity of an internet-based phone call made over VoIP. Issues that frequently arise include echoing, distortion and more. Call quality can be impaired by several factors including audio latency, jitter or packet loss, and are often related.

  • VoIP call recording

    With VoIP call recording, audio recordings of customer conversations during a VoIP phone call are captured through the internet and stored securely in the cloud. In Aircall, call recording is activated automatically whenever an agent picks up the phone, and call recording settings can be customized and accessed at any time.

  • VoIP issues

    Issues that frequently arise during VoIP (internet-based) communications include echoing, distortion and more. These issues are due to audio latency, jitter or packet loss, and are often related. VoIP issues are usually caused by more than just a weak internet connection, which you can read more about in our blog post here.

  • VoIP PABX system

    VoIP PABX, another name for IP PBX, is a business phone system where calls are automatically routed between VoIP internet networks and the PSTN without the need for an operator. Servers are hosted onsite or accessed remotely via an external provider. This system relies on physical SIP desk phones, unlike Aircall which requires zero hardware and uses existing desktop and mobile devices.

  • VoIP security

    As with any online technology, protecting VoIP data requires secure cloud data centers, end-to-end encryption, and measures against cyber attacks and data theft. Make sure you read up on the risks necessitating VoIP security, and check your VoIP provider’s security protocols when you install a business phone system.

  • VoIP troubleshooting

    A VoIP phone system; the modern, fast, cheap, and efficient way to make business calls, is not without its issues. Since the whole system runs over the internet, a stable connection is paramount. Call quality can be affected by other VoIP issues too, which we describe in detail in this blog post.

The phone system for modern business