Call Center Glossary of Terms

Multilingual Agents

Agents that are fluent in more than one language.


Combining multiple forms of media in the communication of information. (E.g, a traditional phone call is "monomedia," and a video call is "multimedia.")

Murphy's Law

If anything can go wrong, it will. Not a good perspective to live by, but worth considering when designing agent groups, routing configurations and disaster recovery plans.

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.


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: 2) 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.


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).


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


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.


See Rostered Staff Factor.

Pareto Chart

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


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.


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