7 Contact Center Glossary Terms You Need to Know

I could take you through a litany of common contact center terms and definitions … but why? There are plenty of places you can go to find that information. In fact, I’ve included a link to an unbiased market source at the end of this blog. There are, however, some terms you should know today, that might not be on lists of old. 

To understand today's technologies and what they mean to your business is key to help make the right investments in your customer experience – here are some of the most researched contact center terms: 

  1. Cloud computing – Wikipedia defines cloud computing as shared pools of configurable computer system resources and higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the Internet. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale.   Businesses today can take advantage of all of the different applications and services available via the cloud to ease the burden of managing the intricacies of each vendors software and allowing them to focus on what they need to do as a business. 
  2. Cloud Contact Center –  Cloud computing… applied to the contact center.  Instantly available, hosted contact center services including support for omnichannel communications and sophisticated routing, with native workforce management and analytics.  Putting your contact center in the cloud saves time and money… no more onsite systems to maintain, pay for or upgrade.  Inherent adaptability, scale, and flexibility enable you to deliver the optimal customer experience in an ever-changing consumer driven digital world – oh, and you are always on the latest release!  
  3. "X"aaS – everything, available “as a service”!  SaaS – the original and all-encompassing Software as a Service, PaaS (Platform), IaaS (Infrastructure), CCaaS (Contact Center), and the list goes on.  XaaS are services available over the internet via cloud computing allowing companies to move fast and maintain a competitive edge.  XaaS allows you to buy via a consumption model.   The entire software landscape has changed in a matter of a few short years, and it will continue to do so… allowing IT organizations to focus on business impact vs the burden of managing installations and maintenance, devices or even security services.   
  4. Compliance – By definition, compliance ensures that organization are abiding by industry regulations and government legislation.  Regulatory compliance is adherence to the laws (or regulations) relevant to business processes, to which violations may results in fines or even legal punishment. There are a couple key compliance terms we need to know today:   

    1. FedRAMP – speaking of security, FedRAMP provides a standardized approach to security for the cloud. When a cloud vendor has FedRAMP authorization it indicates they have passed the most stringent security compliance assessment and they are therefore “authorized to offer cloud services that allow Federal Agencies to securely and quickly meet their mission needs.” If the Federal Government trusts it, so can you. 
    2. PCI Compliance –another security element, especially relevant if you accept credit card payments. PCI compliance indicates that a vendor is adhering to policies and procedures to protect card transactions and prevent the misuse of the users personal information.   
    3. GDPR – the latest of these regulations – the General Data Protection Regulation focuses on data privacy, and is driven out of the EU but impacts any business doing business in the EU. If you want to know a little more about these or other regulations look here 

  5. Artificial Intelligence – the use of computers to simulate intelligence based on data – this can include decision making, imitating intelligent human behavior, and even the ability for a machine think or learn… When it comes to contact centers some of the most common forms of artificial intelligence (AI) include chatbots, machine learning, and intelligence driven into routing of contacts and agent engagement. The win-win here, machines don’t need to take breaks, or even sleep … and that means at least some ability to help your customers 24x7. And… to top it off… the technology is here today to provide a meaningful and satisfactory experience, and consumers are ready! 
  6. Customer Experience – the dictionary defines experience as “the sum of total conscious events”. If you think of customer experience being the quality of any and all of your customers encounters with your company, which includes the “digital” aspects of a customers online research, use of a mobile app to get support or maybe find a location, or interactions via email, SMS, or even social media.  This means that a single or multiple channel interaction to solve a problem defines a single experience.  And… more and more consumers are going digital. In fact, 50% of consumers today prefer starting on the web and the mobile app drives the highest Net Promoter Score among all channels (2018 CX Transformation Benchmark). More than 2/3 of businesses today compete on customer experience and this is on the rise.   
  7. Net Promoter Score measures your customers experience and predicts business growth based on their propensity to promote or recommend your business through their different physical and social networks. And because NPS is often mistakenly used interchangeably with Customer Satisfaction we will cover that there as well. NPS is a leading indicator of growth and is key to customer experience. Customer Satisfaction is a measure of how well your products or services meet or exceed the customers’ expectations. So, in order to promote your company, a customer must first be highly satisfied! To understand where you do well today, look across your customer journey, ensure your customers are highly satisfied consistently, and leverage those insights to continuously ensure and enhance your customer experience.

And, of course, as promised, there are many other terms… from Average Handle Time, and other common operational metrics, to Wrap-up codes or Workforce Optimization.