Contact Center Administrator Guide

Glossary

A

abandoned call

A call that has been presented to an agent, but the remote party disconnected before speaking with the agent. For an inbound call, it may be that the called party got tired of waiting in queue. For an outbound call, it may be that the predictive or automated dialer reached a live contact and had the call available for presentation to an agent, but no agent was available to accept the call.

Note that FCC uses the term "abandoned" to refer to predictive calls that are answered by customers and not connected to agents within a compliance time (2 seconds). To avoid ambiguity, in Bright Pattern Contact Center, such calls are referred to as unattended calls.


access number

A telephone number of a contact center that can be accessed from the public telephone network. External access numbers are typically used as access points in dial-in scenario entries; however, some of these numbers can be instead associated directly with specific extensions to provide a DID function for those extensions.


access point

A point where the processing of service interaction attempts is initiated. For calls, an access point is usually either an access number or an extension dedicated to the automated processing of calls. For chats, an access point is usually a web page from which chat requests are initiated. The logical entity that defines the processing of interactions arriving at a specific access point is called a scenario entry.


ACD

See automated call distribution.


ACW

See After Call Work.


After Call Work

After Call Work (ACW) is an agent state indicating that the agent is unavailable to accept service interactions because the agent is currently processing information related to an interaction that the agent previously handled. This state is assigned from the moment the interaction is terminated and until the agent exits After Call Work either manually or by a system timeout.


agent

A user providing contact center services to customers. An agent is usually one party in a service interaction, and the other party is a customer.


agent capacity

An agent's capability to handle more than one interaction at a time, by either filling gaps in text conversations, such as chat or SMS, or by overriding one interaction with another, such as by interrupting email processing with an incoming voice call.


Agent Capacity Model

In a multimedia contact center, an Agent Capacity Model is a method to determine an agent’s availability to handle an interaction that takes into account how much capacity is occupied by a single interaction of each media type, how much spare capacity the agents must have to be delivered an interaction of any given media type, and the relative priority of media types.


agent state

A real-time condition of an agent that determines the agent's availability to handle service interactions. For states that indicate unavailability, the agent state also provides a specific reason.


ANI

See Automatic Number Identification.


ASA

See average speed of answer.


automated call distribution

Automated call distribution (ACD) is a technology to improve customer satisfaction and maximize agent utilization by introducing fair automatic agent selection and a short wait time for incoming calls. Bright Pattern includes this functionality in omnichannel blended ACD.


Automatic Number Identification

Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is a telephone company service providing a calling party with a number of the calling party. It is often used instead of “calling party number.”


audio treatment

A prerecorded audio message that the system plays to the listener in a specific situation (e.g., while a call is waiting in queue or on hold).


automatic campaign

Also known as an IVR campaign, a type of campaign where the system automatically dials numbers from the associated calling lists, monitors call progress, and connects successful (answered) call attempts to a prerecorded IVR message. Agents are not involved in campaigns of this type.


auxiliary skill

A skill that is not directly associated with any configured services but may be necessary for a complete description of a service request. For example, a customer may request a service in a specific language. In this case, in addition to the default service skill, a language skill is defined and assigned to the agents who can provide the requested service in this language.


average speed of answer

Average speed of answer (ASA) is the key performance indicator of inbound call center performance. It reflects the average time a customer has to wait in queue until the call is answered. ASA is usually measured against a target metric value. (See also service level.) One of the ways to maintain target ASA is with correctly predicted staffing. Calculate staffing online at the specific average speed of answer with the Contact Center Calculator.


B

beep tone

A tone that plays periodically during a call to remind the parties that the call is being recorded. It may also be used as an alert to an agent that a call is about to be presented.


BPO

See business process outsourcer.


BPO client

A company that outsources its contact center operations to a business process outsourcer (BPO).


business process outsourcer

A business process outsourcer (BPO) is a company that performs contact center tasks for other organizations.


Busy

An agent state indicating that the agent is unavailable to accept service interactions because the agent is currently handling one or more service interactions (e.g., a call or a maximum number of chats). For inbound service interactions, this state is assigned from the moment the interaction is accepted and until it is terminated or transferred. For outbound service interactions, it is assigned when the interaction is initiated (i.e., for calls, it includes the dialing phase).


C

calendar

A set of days, defined as days of the week and/or specific dates of the year, when a contact center service has the same hours of operation. A set of calendars with specified hours of operation form the schedule of a contact center service.


call

A voice interaction.


callback

An automated outbound call made upon the customer’s request. A callback can be part of the voice callback function.


call center versus contact center

Typically, a call center is focused on processing telephone calls, whereas a contact center expands on this to handle engagement channels beyond the telephone, such as web chat, social media, online video, etc.


calling list

A list that contains destination data for campaigns. One list can be used in many different campaigns. Each list record typically contains information about a single customer and includes the customer’s name, at least one telephone number, and other information specific to the campaign purpose. For example, lists used in a satisfaction survey campaign may include information about products purchased by the customers.


call progress analysis

Call progress analysis (CPA) is the process of automatic detection of the result of a call attempt via analysis of the audio signals during call setup. CPA is used in predictive outbound calling campaigns.


call recording

A telephone conversation recorded and stored in a digital audio file format. Call recordings are used for quality management (QM) and compliance purposes.


campaign

A type of service where the contact center proactively initiates interactions with customers for a specific reason, such as for surveys or telemarketing, using destination data in the associated calling list(s).


Capacity Model

See Agent Capacity Model.


case

An instance of customer service that is created to track all communications related to a specific customer issue (e.g., request, order, complaint, problem, etc.) and is maintained while the issue is being worked on, and is closed when it is resolved. In general, a case may involve multiple communications via different media channels. In Bright Pattern Contact Center version 3.7 and later, cases are used to track email communications only. (See also email thread.)


chat

A web interaction involving the real-time exchange of text messages.


chat scenario entry

A mobile/web scenario entry for chats.


cloud-based contact center

A cloud-based contact center is a software-as-a-service model of providing contact center technology, where a technology provider hosts and manages the call center hardware and software on behalf of its customers who access the platform remotely over the Internet or a private line service.


consultation

An auxiliary call made with respect to a primary call while the primary call is waiting on hold.


CPA

See call progress analysis.


CPA recording

The audio signals exchanged during the setup phase of an outbound call recorded and stored in a digital audio file format. CPA recordings are used for the analysis of call progress analysis (CPA) accuracy in predictive outbound campaigns.


D

data directed call routing

The use of caller-provided information, collected either via touch-tone or voice recognition, to perform a data dip on a database to help determine where to route the call.


Dialed Number Identification Service

Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS) is a telephone company service providing the called party with a number that was dialed by the calling party. It is often used as a shorthand for "called party number."


dial-in scenario entry

A scenario entry for calls.


dial-out entry

An association between a prefix of a dialed outside telephone number and a service.


DID

See direct inward dialing.


direct inward dialing

Direct inward dialing (DID) is a feature of a private telephone network allowing an outside caller to reach a certain extension directly by dialing a full telephone number dedicated to that extension, as opposed to using an operator, an IVR, or an automatic call distributor.


disposition

A recorded result of an interaction attempt. A disposition may indicate that the requested service was provided or suggest a specific reason for why it was not provided. Dispositions are stored in interaction records and can be used in reports and custom queries for the evaluation of service quality and efficiency.


DNC

Do not call. (See also DNC list.)


DNC list

A Do-Not-Call (DNC) list that contains phone numbers that may not be dialed during a campaign.


DND

Do not disturb. A presence status indicating that the user does not wish to be contacted at the moment.


DNIS

See Dialed Number Identification Service.


DTMF

See dual-tone multi-frequency.


dual-tone multi-frequency

Dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) refers to telephone touch-tones. An inband signaling method that allows the transmission of numeric information (numbers from 0 to 9, as well as symbols # and *) from telephones to other communication devices, such as IVR.


E

email

An interaction via electronic mail. An inbound email interaction includes an original email sent from a customer to a business and the first meaningful response. (Auto-acknowledgment is not considered a meaningful response.) Any subsequent follow-up email sent by the agent is considered an outbound email interaction within the same email thread. Any subsequent email with the same subject sent by the customer is considered a new inbound email interaction within the same email thread.


email thread

A group of emails related to the same case.


enterprise

The traditional contact center architecture where both the technology platform and contact center resources belong to and are managed by the same organization.


Erlang

A unit of measurement (named after Agner Krarup Erlang) in telecommunications systems to quantify offered or carried call load on circuits or telephone switching equipment.


estimated wait time

Estimated wait time (EWT) is a real-time interaction metric indicating the time that a service interaction is likely to spend in queue before being distributed to an agent. EWT can be used to determine interaction processing steps and/or it can be provided to waiting parties via IVR prompts.


EWT

See estimated wait time.


extension

A telephone destination within a private telephone network. An extension is identified by a number, which is unique within the private network only.


G

grade of service

A unit of measurement intended to quantify the probability of an individual call being blocked when presented to a circuit group.


H

handle time

The total time of the call from the beginning, through the conversation, past disconnect and including any agent wrap-up time to disposition the call, record notes, etc.


handled call

A call that is presented to an agent and answered. Contrast this to an abandoned call.


hardphone

A hardphone is a telephony device designed specifically for handling telephone calls. Unlike softphones, whose extensions are defined by users who are currently logged on, hardphones have their own extension numbers permanently assigned to them.


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a United States law which, in particular, enforces a set of security measures related to electronic heathcare transactions.


HIPAA

See Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.


HOP

See Hours of Operation.


Hours of Operation

Hours of Operation (HOP) are a combination of calendars, with hours of operation specified for each. Schedules are typically associated with services and are used to determine, at any moment of any day of the year, whether such services are open for business.


I

inbound interaction

An interaction initiated by an outside party. In contact centers, most of such interactions are initiated by customers seeking specific contact center services.


interaction

A communication session between two or more parties involving one or more media types. Bright Pattern Contact Center currently supports the processing of interactions of the following media types: call, SMS, chat, and email.


interaction attempt

An act of initiating an interaction. An interaction attempt may or may not result in an interaction depending on the condition of system resources and the status of the destination party.


interaction record

A database entry containing details of a single interaction, such as its start time and duration, requested service, and participants. Interaction records are used for reporting and quality management (QM) purposes.


Interactive Voice Response

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a technology for the automation of common or frequently performed telephone transactions by means of a computer application interacting with a human through the use of prerecorded voice prompts and dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) tones of the phone keypad. IVR is typically used for service selection, data collection, announcements, and self-service.


internal interaction

An interaction between two extensions.


IVR

See Interactive Voice Response.


IVR campaign

See automatic campaign.


K

KB

See Knowledge Base.


Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base (KB) is a repository of articles that help agents quickly find answers to customer inquiries and improve response times via using predefined/approved text in text-based communications.


L

List

A list of destinations that should or should not be contacted during a campaign. (See also calling list and DNC list.)


M

mobile interaction

A service interaction where the customer communicates with the contact center via a mobile application on the customer's smartphone.


Mobile/Web Scenario Entry

A scenario entry for mobile interactions.


Multi-tenant

See SaaS.


N

nailed connection

A physical phone connection established during one call and used for the handling of subsequent calls within an agent’s login session. This capability can be useful, for example, for home-based agents who wish to use their regular (PSTN) phone lines for voice delivery while using their Agent Desktop application for call and agent state control.


Not Ready

An agent state indicating that the agent is unavailable to accept service interactions because the agent is on a break or occupied with other tasks. This state may also be applied automatically by the system (e.g., upon login or in the No-Answer condition).


Not Ready reason

An optional modifier of the standard Not Ready state that may indicate more precisely the reason for an agent to be in that state (e.g., no-answer, mandatory after-call break, lunch, or team meeting).


O

outbound interaction

An interaction initiated from an extension to an outside telephone number. In contact centers, such interactions are typically made either to offer services to customers or for consultations related to inbound interactions.


P

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is an information security standard for organizations that handle branded payment cards from major card companies such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.


PCI-DSS

See Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.


predictive campaign

A type of campaign where the system automatically dials numbers from the associated calling lists, monitors call progress, and connects successful (answered) call attempts to available agents. The dialing rate is adjusted in real-time to achieve maximum agent occupancy based on a prediction of the percentage of answered calls relative to all attempted calls.


predictive dialer

A software or hardware device that monitors agent call duration and connect history to algorithmically dial two or more telephone lines in advance of an agent being available, to ensure that at least one line has connected to a real person and is presented to the call center agent.


presence

Indication of a user’s current availability and willingness to communicate. Unlike Agent State, presence applies to all types of users and does not affect the system’s ability to deliver interactions to those users.


preview campaign

A type of campaign where the calling records from associated lists are submitted to the agents participating in the campaign. The agents review record information, manually dial destination numbers, and monitor call progress.


privilege

A user’s permission to access specific functionality within Bright Pattern Contact Center (e.g., to generate and view reports).


Pull

A method of email distribution where incoming emails are delivered by the system to a service queue, from which the agents are expected to retrieve them for processing manually.


Push

A method of email distribution where incoming emails are delivered by the system directly to agents’ desktops based on the agents’ skill set and availability (i.e., in the same way as calls and chats).


Q

QM

See quality management.


quality management

Also known as quality monitoring, quality management (QM) is the process of recording and storing agents’ conversations and chats with customers and the subsequent evaluation of agents’ work based on reviewing such call recordings and chat transcripts.


quality monitoring

See quality management.


queue

A series of calls lined up, typically in chronological order according to arrival, that is waiting for an available agent. Typically callers hear recorded "on hold" music or prerecorded messages. In some cases, they may hear a message telling them their estimated wait time (EWT) as well.


R

Ready

An agent state indicating that the agent is available to accept service interactions.


Real-time Transport Protocol

Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) is a data transfer protocol that provides end-to-end delivery services over IP networks for data with real-time characteristics, such as interactive audio and video. RTP is widely used in combination with SIP in modern VoIP systems and networks.


recording

See call recording.


remote agent

An agent that works in a location away from the primary contact center physical location. Agents may work from their home or from a satellite office. In modern call centers, they often connect to the primary contact center over the Internet.


requested skill combination

A combination of skills, with the minimal acceptable level specified for each skill, which are necessary in order to deliver a requested service.


rich contact experience

A number of contact center features to improve communication with connected customers using a company website or mobile app, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and cost savings.


ringing

A desktop function that alerts an agent of an incoming interaction. Ringing is also an agent state indicating that the agent is unavailable to accept service interactions because one service interaction is already being delivered to the agent.


role

A combination of privileges usually reflecting a certain personnel function or position within a contact center organization.


RTP

See Real-time Transport Protocol.


S

SaaS

See Software as a Service.


scenario

A script that defines the logic of automated processing of interactions satisfying some specific criteria (e.g., inbound interactions arriving at a specific access point).


scenario entry

An association between an access point and a scenario.


scheduled callback

A set time in the future for an agent to call a contact, typically as a follow-up to a previous engagement.


self-service

A type of service that can be provided without agent involvement (i.e., entirely via an IVR application with TTS functions, such as a customer’s current account balance).


service

A specific reason for customers to initiate an interaction with a contact center, or, in the case of outbound dialing, for a contact center to initiate an interaction with a customer. Services play a key role in the design of interaction processing logic, evaluation of contact center efficiency, and workforce management.


service interaction

An interaction between a customer and a contact center initiated in order to get, or to offer, a service.


service level

Service level (SL) is a key performance indicator for an inbound contact center. Service level reflects a share of queued calls answered before a target threshold. It is usually displayed as percentage and a threshold value: 80%/20 sec. (See also ASA.) One of the ways to maintain service level is with correctly predicted staffing. Calculate staffing online at a specific service level with the Call Center Calculator.


Service Level Agreement

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a commitment to provide service at the preset service level.


service level threshold

See service level.


service skill

A default skill directly associated with a configured service. Service skills can be automatically assigned to the agents who are members of teams associated with corresponding services.


Session Initiation Protocol

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol for controlling communication sessions such as telephone calls over IP networks. SIP is widely used in modern VoIP systems and networks.


short-abandoned call

A call that is abandoned within a service level threshold.


Short Message Service

Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of mobile communication networks. In Bright Pattern Contact Center, SMS refers to a media type for the text message exchange between agents and customers, where text messages are handled as chat sessions on the agent side and delivered to customers via SMS services of mobile communication networks.


SIP

See Session Initiation Protocol.


skill

A qualification necessary to carry out specific tasks associated with fulfillment of one or more services.


skill group

A set of related skills (e.g., each skill in a language skill group can represent the ability to provide services in a specific language).


skill level

A relative measure of an agent’s expertise in an assigned skill.


skill match

A condition where an agent possesses all skills in a requested skill combination, with levels that are equal or higher than the levels of the corresponding skills in the requested skill combination.


skills-based routing

Logic that evaluates the context or transaction history of a customer or prospect and uses that information to route a call or web chat (or a session via another engagement channel) to an agent best equipped to support the caller.


SL

See service level.


SLA

See Service Level Agreement.


SMS

See Short Message Service.


softphone

A software application for handling telephone calls using the networking and sound processing capabilities of a general purpose computer. In VoIP systems, a softphone application is associated with a user at the moment of login and is identified by the user’s name and extension number for the duration of the login session.


Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a multi-tenant architecture where a single physical software installation, usually managed by a service provider, is used to serve multiple independent contact centers or tenants.


static entry

A telephone number of the public telephone network that appears in the directory of the Agent Desktop application. Usually these are the numbers that are frequently called by contact center agents (e.g., for consultation purposes).


supervisor

A user who monitors and controls agents’ performance in real time.


T

team

A group of users with similar functions within a contact center organization. A team of agents is organized for optimal workforce management (i.e., training, scheduling, real-time supervision, reporting). If an agent team includes agents with similar qualifications, it may be associated with one or more services, which simplifies the process of assigning the corresponding service skills to such agents.


tenant

In a multi-tenant operation, a client organization whose contact center operations are enabled by a technology platform of a service provider. In an enterprise operation, the term "tenant" is equivalent to the term "contact center."


Text-to-Speech

Text-to-Speech (TTS) is a function of converting text messages into speech. TTS is used in self-service IVR applications. It also can be used in regular IVR applications to create temporary voice prompts at the test stage before replacing them with recorded voice talent in a production-ready application version.


thread

See email thread.


trunk

An interface between a private and a public telephone network.


trunk hold time

A unit of measurement that quantifies how long a trunk is occupied by a call from the moment the call arrives, through engagement, and until it is disconnected.


TTS

See Text-to-Speech.


U

unattended call

A call attempt made within a predictive campaign that is answered by a customer but cannot be connected to an agent within a compliance time (2 seconds in the United States). Some countries regulate the percentage of unattended calls and/or what happens to a call when it is unattended. Note that FCC refers to such calls as "abandoned." In Bright Pattern Contact Center, the term abandoned is used to refer to calls that are terminated by customers before they are answered by agents.


unavailable time

A measurement of the time that an agent is not able to engage with contacts due to scheduled breaks, meals, After Call Work, or other activities.


user

A person who may need access to any functionality of Bright Pattern Contact Center for any reason. Usually this includes all contact center agents and supervisors, as well as all contact center managers, administrators, and scenario developers who may need to use Bright Pattern Contact Center user-facing applications to perform their tasks. The exact set of functionality available to a particular user within any application is defined by the role(s) assigned to this user in the system configuration.


V

virtual contact center

Also known as a virtual call center, a contact center where all agents are not necessarily physically located in the same building. Agents may be at satellite offices or working from home, but they work on a common contact center platform as if they were at the same location.


Virtual Queue

A capability of ACD to let a customer leave a call and do other things instead of actively waiting for an agent to become available. Bright Pattern implements this for voice and in-app customer support, and this capability is inherently present in SMS and social messengers.


voice callback

A contact center feature that offers calling customers an option of requesting a callback instead of staying online while waiting for an agent response. The decision can be made based on the current estimated wait time in queue. If the Callback option is selected, the original inbound call will be disconnected while the position of this call in the service queue is preserved. The callback is made when it is the caller’s “turn” to be routed to an agent.


Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

A set of technologies for delivery of voice and multimedia communications over IP networks. (See also SIP.)


voice signature

Voice signature (VS) is the use of a customer’s voice, by way of recording answers to a predefined set of questions, as a legal signature with respect to a policy or contract discussed on the call.


Voice Response Unit

Voice Response Unit (VRU) is a complete or part of hardware implementation of IVR.


VoIP

See Voice Over Internet Protocol.


VRU

See Voice Response Unit.


VS

See voice signature.


W

wrap-up time

The time that contact center agents require after the agents disconnect from a call and before they are ready to accept the next call. Typically this time is spent recording information pertaining to the engagement. Wrap-up time contributes to handle time.