The Terms on Contact Center Managers' Tongues
Contact centers are unique environments with specific vocabularies. Customer service professionals use terms like abandon rate, AHT, shrinkage, and WFM.
So what do these terms mean? What are some other key contact center terms and definitions? And what do they have to do with improving customer service and driving business outcomes?
Let’s take a look.
Here’s a short list of some of the most important contact center terms today:
• Abandon rate
• Average handle time
• Customer experience
• First-call resolution
• Quality management
Abandon rate is a term that’s been around the contact center space for a long time. It describes the share of inbound calls to contact centers that never reach an agent because the caller hangs up before that happens. This can signal that customer hold times are too long. That can be due to inadequate staffing, the fact that agents are spending too long on other calls, the impatience of customers these days, all of the above, or other factors. But, call abandonment is not good because, as Fonolo notes, “a percentage will take their business elsewhere (or they’ll remember the experience when evaluating their next purchase).” So many companies have recently introduced solutions to lower abandon rates.
AI, of course, stands for artificial intelligence. In the contact center, AI is relatively new, but solutions in this realm are available today. They can allow agents to work more efficiently, the facility to handle more calls faster, and customers to get the answers they seek more quickly. “By using artificial intelligent, KLM makes conversations with our customers more timely, correct, and personal,” says Pieter Groeneveld of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which has been testing DigitalGenius AI technology to automate answers to common customer questions. “Heavy snowfall in the Netherlands last week caused a significant increase of the number of questions on social media. Passengers obviously expect a timely answer. With the use of AI we support our service agents with technology and should be able to answer many more questions in a shorter period of time.”
Callback is seeing a lot of action in contact centers lately. Solutions in this realm offer callers the ability to get a call from the contact center later. That way contact centers can offload traffic during their busy times. And callers aren’t left waiting on hold for a long time. However some, like Chuck Ciarlo of Monet Software (News - Alert), says that callbacks break the connection between caller and company, and there is no guarantee the customer will be available at a later time.
We could talk about contact center terms and trends all day. And you can find a lot more coverage on this kind of thing here in the Call Center Scheduling portal and in TMC’s (News - Alert) CUSTOMER magazine. So, for now, let’s skip toward the end of the alphabet to look at WFM and WFO.
WFM and WFO stand for workforce management and optimization. These solutions can help contact centers onboard their agents, provide them the training they need to do the job today and in the future, and outfit managers with tools to assist and coach them. Offerings in this vein can also assist contact centers with agent forecasting, scheduling, and skills- and time-use optimization.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz