DSC Tech Library
Glossary of Terms
This section of our technical library presents information relating to Call Center technology and Best Practices plus software and products.
Since the Company's inception in 1978, DSC has specialized in the development of communications software and systems. Beginning with our CRM and call center applications, DSC has developed computer telephony integration software and PC based phone systems. These products have been developed to run on a wide variety of telecom computer systems and environments.
The following article relates to call center technology or customer service best practices and techniques.
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Imaging. A process whereby documents are scanned
into a system and stored electronically.
Immutable Law. A law of nature that is
fundamental, and not changeable (e.g., the law of gravity). In an
inbound call center, the fact that occupancy goes up when service
level goes down, is an immutable law.
Incoming Call Center Management. The
art of having the right number of skilled people and supporting
resources in place at the right times to handle an accurately forecasted
workload, at service level and with quality.
Incremental Revenue (Value) Analysis.
A methodology that estimates the value (cost and revenue) of adding
or subtracting an agent.
Index Factor. In forecasting, a proportion
used as a multiplier to adjust another number.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).
A set of international standards for telephone transmission. ISDN
provides an end-to-end digital network, out-of-band signaling, and
greater bandwidth than older telephone services. The two standard
levels of ISDN are Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and Primary Rate Interface
(PRI). See Basic Rate Interface and Primary Rate Interface.
Inter Exchange Carrier (IXC). A long-distance
Interactive Voice Response (IVR). See
Voice Response Unit.
Interflow. See overflow.
Internal Help Desk. A group that supports
other internal agent groups, e.g. for complex or escalated calls.
Internal Response Time. The time it takes
an agent group that supports other internal groups (e.g., for complex
or escalated tasks) to respond to transactions that do not have
to be handled when they arrive (e.g., correspondence or e-mail).
See Response Time and Service Level.
Internet "Call Me" Transaction. A transaction
that allows a user to request a callback from the call center, while
exploring a Web page. Requires interconnection of the ACD system
and the Internet by means of an Internet Gateway.
Internet "Call Through" Transaction. The
ability for callers to click a button on a Web site and be directly
connected to an agent while viewing the site. Standards and technologies
that provide this capability are in development.
Internet Phone. Technology that enables
users of the InternetÍs World Wide Web to place voice telephone
calls through the Internet, thus by-passing the long distance network.
Intraflow. See overflow.
Invisible Queue. When callers do not know how
long the queue is or how fast it is moving. See Visible Queue.
Judgmental Forecasting. Goes beyond purely
statistical techniques and encompasses what people believe is going
to happen. It is in the realm of intuition, interdepartmental committees,
market research and executive opinion.
Law of Diminishing Returns. The declining
marginal improvements in service level that can be attributed to
each additional agent, as successive agents are added.
Load Balancing. Balancing traffic between
two or more destinations.
Local Area Network (LAN). The connection
of multiple computers within a building, so that they can share
information, applications and peripherals. See Wide Area Network.
Local Exchange Carrier (LEC). Telephone
companies responsible for providing local connections and services.
Logged On. A state in which agents have
signed on to a system (made their presence known), but may or may
not be ready to receive calls.
Long Call. For staffing calculations
and traffic engineering purposes, calls that approach or exceed
Longest Available Agent. A method of
distributing calls to the agent who has been sitting idle the longest.
With a queue, Longest Available Agent becomes ńNext Available Agent.î
Longest Delay (Oldest Call). The longest
time a caller has waited in queue, before abandoning or reaching
Look Ahead Queuing. The ability for a
system or network to examine a secondary queue and evaluate the
conditions, before overflowing calls from the primary queue.
Look Back Queuing. The ability for a
system or network to look back to the primary queue after the call
has been overflowed to a secondary queue, and evaluate the conditions.
If the congestion clears, the call can be sent back to the initial
Lost Call. See Abandoned Call.
Middleware. Software that mediates between
different types of hardware and software on a network, so that they
can function together.
Modem. A contraction of the terms Modulator/Demodulator.
A Modem converts analog signals to digital and vice versa.
Monitoring. Also called Position Monitoring
or Service Observing. The process of listening to agents' telephone
calls for the purpose of maintaining quality. Monitoring can be:
A) silent, where agents don't know when they are being monitored,
B) side by side, where the person monitoring sits next to the agent
and observes calls or C) record and review, where calls are recorded
and then later played back and assessed.
Multilingual Agents. Agents that are
fluent in more than one language.
Multimedia. Combining multiple forms
of media in the communication of information. (E.g, a traditional
phone call is "monomedia," and a video call is "multimedia.")