Database Systems Corp.
Home  |   Contact Us  |   About Us  |   Sign Up  |   FAQ

predictive dialers and crm software
computer telephony software predictive dialer

ACD Automatic Call Distribution
Real Estate Marketing
Predictive Dialer
Call Center Software
Advanced Call Center Solutions
Reminder Calls
Contact Center Technology
Contact Management Software
Telecommuting Software
Virtual Call Center PBX

predictive dialers and crm software

Call Center Software
Customer Service Call Centers
India Call Centers
Offshore Call Centers
Telemarketing Call Centers
Call Center Solutions
Telemarketing Software
Linux Call Center
Call Center Technology
Telemarketing CRM
Call Center Autodialer
Call Center CTI
Inbound Call Center
Outbound Call Center
Call Center Outsourcing
Call Center Services
Call Center Development
Contact Center
Contact Management Center
Call Center CRM

DSC Tech Library
Glossary of Terms

telecommunications software solution 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.

[A ] [ B-C ] [ D-H ] [ I-M ] [ N-R ] [ S-V ] [ W-Z ]

Glossary N-R

Network Control Center. Also called Traffic Control Center. In a networked call center environment, where people and equipment monitor real-time conditions across sites, change routing thresholds as necessary, and coordinate events that will impact base staffing levels.

Network Inter-flow. A technology used in multi-site call center environments to create a more efficient distribution of calls between sites. Through integration of sites using network circuits (such as T1 circuits) and ACD software, calls routed to one site may be queued simultaneously for agent groups in remote sites. See Call by Call Routing and Percent Allocation.

Next Available Agent. A call distribution method that sends calls to the next agent who becomes available. The method seeks to maintain an equal load across skill groups or services. When there is no queue, Next Available Agent reverts to Longest Available Agent.

Noise Canceling Headset. Headsets equipped with technology that reduces background noise.

Non ACD In Calls. Inbound calls which are directed to an agent's extension, rather than to a general group. These may be personal calls or calls from customers who dial the agents' extension numbers.

Occupancy. Also referred to as agent utilization. The percentage of time agents handle calls versus wait for calls to arrive. For a half-hour, the calculation is: (call volume x average handling time in seconds) / (number of agents x 1800 seconds). See Adherence to Schedule.

Off The Shelf. Hardware or software programs that are commercially available and ready for use "as is."

Offered Calls. All of the attempts callers make to reach the call center. There are three possibilities for offered calls: 1) they can get busy signals, 2) they can be answered by the system, but hang up before reaching a rep, 3) they can be answered by a rep. Offered call reports in ACDS usually refer only to the calls that the system receives.

Off-Peak. Periods of time other than the call center's busiest periods. Also a term to describe periods of time when long distance carriers provide lower rates.

Open Ticket. A customer contact (transaction) that has not yet been completed or resolved (closed).

Outsourcing. Contracting some or all call center services to an outside company.

Overflow. Calls that flow from one group or site to another. More specifically, Intraflow happens when calls flow between agent groups and Interflow is when calls flow out of the ACD to another site.

Overlay. See Rostered Staff Factor.

Pareto Chart. A bar chart that arranges events in order of frequency. Named after 19th century economist Vilfredo Pareto.

PBX/ACD. A PBX that is equipped with ACD functionality.

Peaked Call Arrival. A surge of traffic beyond random variation. It is a spike within a short period of time.

Percent Allocation. A call routing strategy sometimes used in multi-site call center environments. Calls received in the network are allocated across sites based on user-defined percentages. See Call by Call Routing and Network Inter-flow.

Percent Utilization. See Occupancy.

Poisson. A formula sometimes used for calculating trunks. Assumes that if callers get busy signals, they keep trying until they successfully get through. Since some callers won't keep retrying, Poisson can overestimate trunks required. See Erlang B and Retrial Tables.

Pooling Principle. The Pooling Principle states: Any movement in the direction of consolidation of resources will result in improved traffic-carrying efficiency. Conversely, any movement away from consolidation of resources will result in reduced traffic-carrying efficiency.

Position Monitoring. See Monitoring.

Post Call Processing. See After-Call Work.

Predictive Dialing. A system that automatically places outbound calls and delivers answered calls to agents. When the dialer detects busy signals, answering machines or ring no answer, it puts the number back in queue.

Primary Rate Interface (PRI). One of two levels of ISDN service. In North America, PRI typically provides 23 bearer channels for voice and data and one channel for signaling information (commonly expressed as 23B+D). In Europe, PRI typically provides 30 bearer lines (30B+D). See Basic Rate Interface and Integrated Services Digital Network.

Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX). See Private Branch Exchange.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX). A telephone system located at a customer's site that handles incoming and outgoing calls. ACD software can provide PBXs with ACD functionality. Also called private automatic branch exchange (PABX).

Private Network. A network made up of circuits for the exclusive use of an organization or group of affiliated organizations. Can be regional, national or international in scope and are common in large organizations.

Process. A system of causes.

Profit Center. An accounting term that refers to a department or function in the organization that does not generate profit. See Cost Center.

Public Switched Network (PSN). The public telephone network which provides the capability of interconnecting any home or office with any other.

Quantitative Forecasting. Using statistical techniques to forecast future events. The major categories of quantitative forecasting include Time Series and Explanatory approaches. Time Series techniques use past trends to forecast future events. Explanatory techniques attempt to reveal linkages between two or more variables. See Judgmental Forecasting.

Queue. Holds callers until an agent becomes available. Queue can also refer to a line or list of items in a system waiting to be processed (e.g., e-mail messages).

Queue Display. See Readerboard.

Queue Time. See Delay.

Random Call Arrival. The normal, random variation in how incoming calls arrive. See Peaked Call Arrival.

Readerboards. Also called displayboards or wall displays. A visual display, usually mounted on the wall or ceiling, that provides real-time and historical information on queue conditions, agent status and call center performance.

Real-Time Adherence Software. Software that tracks how closely agents conform to their schedules. See Adherence to Schedule.

Real-Time Data. Information on current conditions. Some "real-time" information is real-time in the strictest sense (e.g., calls in queue and current longest wait). Some real-time reports require some history (e.g. the last x calls or x minutes) in order to make a calculation (e.g. service level and average speed of answer). See Screen Refresh.

Real-Time Management. Making adjustments to staffing and thresholds in the systems and network, in response to current queue conditions.

Received Calls. A call detected and seized by a trunk. Received calls will either abandon or be answered by an agent.

Record and Review Monitoring. See Monitoring.

Recorded Announcement Route (RAN). See Delay Announcement.

Reengineering. A term popularized by management consultant Michael Hammer, which refers to radically redesigning processes to improve efficiency and service.

Response Time. The time it takes the call center to respond to transactions that do not have to be handled when they arrive (e.g., correspondence or e-mail). See Service Level.

Retrial Tables. Sometimes used to calculate trunks and other system resources required. They assume that some callers will make additional attempts to reach the call center if they get busy signals. See Erlang B and Poisson.

Retrial. A caller who "retries" when they get a busy signal.

Rostered Staff Factor (RSF). Alternatively called an Overlay, Shrink Factor or Shrinkage. RSF is a numerical factor that leads to the minimum staff needed on schedule over and above base staff required to achieve your service level and response time objectives. It is calculated after base staffing is determined and before schedules are organized, and accounts for things like breaks, absenteeism and ongoing training.

Round Robin Distribution. A method of distributing calls to agents according to a predetermined list. See Next Available Agent and Longest Waiting Agent.