This glossary is meant to serve as a resource to help you learn more about specific terms, acronyms, technologies, metrics, and concepts that are common in the call center and customer experience industries. We’ve organized the content alphabetically to make it easier for you to quickly find the information you need. While this list of terms is educational in nature, simply familiarizing yourself with the various phrases and concepts will help you appear more knowledgeable about the subject matter. Note that each definition briefly clarifies the meaning of a particular term as it relates to our field. For a deeper dive, click on the links within the description for a more extensive explanation.

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Insurance Adjuster

As part of an insurance claim process, the insurer will send a representative – known as an adjuster – to inspect and evaluate a policyholder’s claim for damages or loss.

Adoption Rate

Refers to the pace at which a new technology is accepted, integrated, and used by the target audience. This rate is defined by the percentage of people who start using a new technology or innovation during a specific period of time.

Agent Productivity

A measurement that determines whether the agent’s utilization of time and resources is achieving desirable outcomes. A wide range of call center KPIs can be used to determine agent productivity.

Agent Occupancy

Call center agent occupancy measures how much time call center representatives spend engaging with customers when they are at work as opposed to non-productive or idle time, while the agent is logged in.

Agent Utilization

Agent Utilization refers to the percentage of the day that agents are engaged in active work, also known as billable time. It excludes any time not spent directly involved in servicing a customer.

Agent Utilization Rate

A workforce management call center metric that determines the ratio of an agent’s productivity to their capacity. The metric indicates the effectiveness of call center processes.

AHT – Average Hold Time

Call center metric that measures the average length of time a customer waits on hold during a call.

AI Customer Support Tools

Artificial Intelligence-based technologies in customer service, such as chatbots, IVR or voice assistants, help speed up the customer support process. For example, chatbots answer simple questions and collect information that agents need to solve a case quickly.


Augmented Reality is an interactive technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world.

AR Manual

AR Manual is a next-generation of an online user guide achieved by overlaying the text and images with augmented reality technology in order to provide instructions to the user in an interactive manner.

AR Remote Assistance

Also known as AR remote support, AR Remote Assistance technology utilizes AR to enable experts to visually guide and collaborate with customers and field technicians, by linking the contact center and headquarters to the field where the work is being done.

AR Unboxing

Unboxing refers to the act of unpacking a new device. Brands have begun integrating AR technology into the unboxing process in an effort to engage customers and enhance the overall customer experience (CX).

AR Annotations

During an AR experience, users can add virtual notes to their screen to annotate their experience – to give information or make a comment.


Call center attrition refers to a metric which indicates the gradual decline in staff numbers that occurs as employees resign or retire and are not replaced. Customer attrition, sometimes called Customer churn, refers to the metric which indicates the number of customers who decide to stop using a business product or service.

Automated Quality Assurance

Refers to the use of automated testing tools, scripts and software to run checks on the product being developed and report on the results.

Average Wait Time

Also known as Average Speed of Answer (ASA) or Average Delay, this metric measures the average time a customer’s call remains in the queue until it is answered by an agent.


BPO Management

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is when an organization contracts with an external provider to manage, administer, and perform an essential business task.

BPO Optimization

Business process optimization (BPO) refers to the streamlining of essential business processes, in order for the organization to function more efficiently and effectively.


Call Deflection Rate

Call deflection rate is a call center metric that measures the success of resolving a customer inquiry by an alternative service channel, such as FAQs, conversational AI, community forums, and knowledge center databases, instead of a human agent.

Call Volume

Call volume is a call center metric that measures the total number of incoming calls received in a given period. Call volume can be measured in various time intervals, such as per day, hour, or week, and may fluctuate by time of day or season.

Calls Per Agent

A metric used to calculate the number of agents needed to handle incoming calls efficiently. The formula takes into account the volume of calls, average time per call,  and time available for each agent.

Cancellation Rate

A metric that measures the share of services or products that were sold but then eventually canceled over a specific period of time.

CeS – Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how much effort a customer has to exert in their interactions with a company to get a response or resolve an issue,

Claim Resolution Rate

A metric used to calculate the percentage of claims paid by an insurer. This rate typically refers to claims paid upon initial submission and is used to indicate the measure of an insurer’s success.


Short for “collaborative browsing,” co-browsing is a technology for visual communication that enables one party to join another in a website session, allowing both participants to view the same webpage and interact in real time.

Co-Browsing Software

Refers to the code-based program that enables co-browsing to execute on a user’s computer.

Computer Vision

Computer vision is a field of artificial intelligence that provides computers with the capability to accurately see, understand, and interpret visual information from digital images and videos.

CRM Integration

Integration of applications to a company’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, for seamless connectivity. The centralized platform helps a company manage, organize, synchronize and access all CRM processes to gain a complete view of valuable customer data across all channels.

CRM Visual Support

Integration of visual support into a CRM system enables live assistance through real-time video. An effective way to provide personalized service, remote visual support improves customer experience and issue resolution.


CSAT or Customer Satisfaction is a key performance indicator (KPI) that measures how well an organization meets customer expectations. This metric helps organizations to learn what areas need improvement and provide better customer experience.

Customer Churn Rate

Customer Churn rate (also called customer attrition rate) refers to the percentage of customers that stop doing business with a company over a given time period.

Codeless / No-Code Application

Refers to a development platform where users can design and manage software without necessitating the use of programming scripts or code. Most common are applications that offer a simple drag-and-drop tool.

Customer Friction

A term that refers to any barrier that impedes a customer from engaging with a company, purchasing company products or services, or finding value in their purchase.

Customer Loyalty

Describes a customer’s dedication to a company or brand based on positive feelings and past experiences. It indicates a likelihood to repeat business despite any company shortcomings or competitor actions.

Customer Replaceable Units (Swaps)

Refers to spare parts that can be installed or replaced quickly and easily by a customer without any specific knowledge, skills, or tools. Swapping CRUs is a standard practice across the hardware industry.

Customer Retention Strategy

Customer retention strategy refers to a company’s efforts to avoid customers switching to a competitor, to increase the number of repeat buyers, and to extract additional value from each existing customer.

Customer Support Automation

A process that allows businesses to provide advice or assistance to customer requests without the need for human involvement.


Desktop Mirroring

A technique where the desktop screen is duplicated on an external display, so that both screens show the same thing.

Desktop Sharing

Also known as screen sharing or remote support, this refers to the technologies that enable a third party to remotely access a user’s computer or mobile device, most often to provide technical assistance.

Device Onboarding

The process of connecting a new device to a network for the first time.often necessitating internet connectivity, security protocols, and initial configuration.

Device Screen Mirroring

Technology that enables a device screen – such as a phone, tablet, or desktop/laptop screen – to wirelessly display the same content on another device screen.

Device Diagnostics

When a system checks data that has been automatically recorded by the device for the purposes of troubleshooting and to determine whether a device is defective.

Digital Flows

Refers to the use of a workflow or process in order to achieve a specific goal. In the service environment, digital flows enable users to go through a particular set of steps in order to complete a particular action or resolve an issue. Self service tools like bots and Visual Journeys provide user friendly platforms for digital flow management and execution.

Dispatch Rate (Engineer / Support / Technician)

A metric that refers to how often a company sends an expert to service a product at a customer’s location. As each dispatch is costly, companies often seek to lower this KPI through improved customer service processes.


Employee Friction

A term that refers to any barrier that impedes an employee from reaching the maximum productivity, such as work disruptions, technology issues, or other obstacles.

Employee Satisfaction

A key performance indicator (KPI) that measures how content or happy employees are with their jobs and work environment. Employee satisfaction surveys provide vital feedback for organizations, revealing areas for improvement.

Employee Training

Programs within an organization that provide employees with skills and training directly related to their jobs. Training programs are designed to improve competency, performance and productivity, as well as reducing inefficiencies and increasing safety in the workplace.


Short for employee Net Promoter Score, eNPS is a method used to measure how employees feel about their company. It’s calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters, with results ranging from -100 to +100.

Error Rates

In contact centers, this metric refers to the frequency of errors occurring in relation to the total number of transactions or interactions. Errors include providing customers with wrong information, mistakes with data entry, or not following specific protocols.


First Call Resolution

Also called first contact resolution, first call resolution is a performance metric that measures a call center’s ability to resolve customer issues or inquiries on the first call or contact with an agent.

Fix Rate

Often referred to as First Time Fix (FTF) rate, this field service metric measures the percentage of service tickets resolved in the first visit. The rate is determined by dividing the number of issues resolved on the first visit by the total number of issues logged.

Frictionless Experience

A term that refers to a seamless, hassle-free end-to-end customer experience in all interactions with the company.

Field Service Management

The system used to coordinate, organize and manage all services provided in the field, for effective and optimized processes.


Hardware Replacement Rate

Measures how frequently a business must remove outdated hardware, software, or equipment for a more updated solution. The lower the rate, the higher the ROI of the hardware investment.

Hybrid Chat Bot

A program that utilizes both artificial and human intelligence to provide assistance to customers. An AI chatbot will first try to provide an automated yet personalized reply, but if the issue is not resolved, a human agent can take over.


Idle Time

Nonproductive time, also referred to as waiting time, when a machine is operational and available but not in use. It can also refer to paid time that an employee is not engaged in productive activity.

Image Annotation

A machine learning and deep learning process that labels or classifies an image using text and/or annotation tools to help the model learn specific data features.

Image Markup

The act of leaving comments, drawing shapes, adding notes, etc. to an image file. In machine learning and deep learning, image markup adds metadata to a dataset in order to help algorithms learn specific information.


Live Video Customer Service

Allows customers to communicate with call center agents in real time over video, enabling live interactions with agents that promote engagement through personalized experiences.

Live Video Support

Allows company representatives to assist customers in real time over video, enabling live interactions with experts as they resolve the customer’s issue together.


Machine Downtime

Any period of time, planned or unplanned, that a machine is not in operation and the production process stops. Downtime can occur due to scheduled maintenance, or unexpected failure of equipment or processes.

Machine Learning

A branch of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to enable machines to imitate intelligent human behavior, allowing systems to learn autonomously and improve from experience without human intervention. Common machine learning applications include chatbots, self-driving cars, and virtual assistants.

Mean Time To Repair

A measure of the average time it takes to repair a technical or mechanical system. This metric is calculated from the time an incident is detected and until the system is fully functional.

Mobile Mirroring

Also known as Device Screen Mirroring, this technology enables a mobile device screen to wirelessly display the same content on another device screen, such as a desktop or projector.

Multi-Party Video Support

Describes a customer service situation where more than two parties are bridged together in a videoconference, enabling a customer to receive support from multiple people at the same time, such as a call center agent and a field technician.

Multi-Party Consultation

When an individual receives advice or support from more than one party at the same time, such as a salesperson and a technician.


New Hire Training Time

The period of time an organization sets aside to onboard a new employee about the company’s values, mission and goals, as well as how to be successful in their individual role.

Next Issue Avoidance

A metric used by a company’s customer support department to be proactive about predicting related issues that might arise. It uses projections, brainstorming, and simple common sense to preempt customers’ next questions by thinking proactively and anticipating future questions the customer is likely to have.

NFF Rate – No Fault Found

A call center metric that measures the number of products returned by customers despite there being nothing wrong with them. An NFF designation can also be applied to service calls when the technician arrives on site only to find that the issue can be resolved easily in five minutes or less.


Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an easy-to-calculate metric that is widely used to gauge customer loyalty. It measures customers’ overall perception of a brand and the likelihood of them recommending the product or service to a friend.


Object Classification

Describes a computer vision technique that involves identifying and segmenting digital objects in images or videos by previously defined categories or types.

Object Recognition

A computer vision related task that identifies and locates objects in images or videos using deep learning and machine learning algorithms. Objects include people, items, scenes, and other visual details.

Object State

Refers to a snapshot of an object’s data values at a particular point in time, such as a form, texture, color, or other characteristic that can be changed as a consequence of a human or robot activity.


Optical character recognition (OCR) is the technology that converts images of typed, handwritten, or printed text into digital text.

Omnichannel Strategy

A multichannel approach that provides the customer with an integrated user experience, allowing them to engage with the company over multiple touchpoints, over a range of channels that seamlessly connect, allowing customers to move back and forth from one experience to another.

Operational Efficiency

The ability of an organization to cut down on time, effort, and materials while still producing a high-quality service or product. When achieved, businesses reduce unnecessary costs while increasing revenue.

Overtime Spend

The total amount of compensation that an organization pays its staff as overtime during a specific period. Overtime refers to any hours worked that exceed normally scheduled business hours.


Pickup Rate

Also known as Product Return Rate, this metric measures the percentage of total products returned to the company against the number of total products sold.

Product Onboarding

The activities involved in introducing a product or service to users or customers for their adoption. Activities may include explaining product features, usage instructions, and tips.

Product Registration

The process of capturing new customers’ information at the time of sale. It enables brands to connect directly with consumers and engage with them throughout the duration of their product ownership.

Product Return Rate

A key performance indicator that measures the percentage of total products sold that are returned by customers.

Product Warranty Registration

Refers to a buyer registering a new product with the manufacturer, providing item, purchase, and contact details in case service is required during the warranty period or if there is a safety recall.


Reverse Logistics Optimization

Strategies used to improve the reverse logistics process, after-sales operations related to the return, recycling, reuse or disposal of products and materials.

Remote Inspection

A method for virtual inspection performed using real-time video technology that does not require the inspector’s physical presence on-site.

Remote Inspection

A method for virtual inspection performed using real-time video technology that does not require the inspector’s physical presence on-site.

Remote Installation / Install

A method for virtually connecting or setting up a device or system without necessitating a technician’s physical presence on site.

Remote IT Services

Refers to a system that allows users to connect with and use a specific computer or network from a remote location.

Remote Onboarding

The process of using digital technology and video tools to integrate a new employee into a company by familiarizing them with the company culture and policies without requiring their physical presence.

Remote Video Support

Method of delivering technical support where a remotely-located technician provides assistance over a live video call with the end user.

Remote Visual Assistance

A technology powered by Computer Vision AI and Augmented Reality (AR) that enables agents or experts to see exactly what the customer sees, guiding them over their mobile screens without requiring a home visit.

Renewal Rate

A metric that measures the percentage of customers who actively choose to extend their relationships with the company – most often as a subscription or membership.

Return Rate

A key performance indicator that measures the percentage of units sold that were later returned, divided by the number of total units sold.


Screen / App Sharing

Technology that allows a user to share the content of their screen or application with another – or multiple – devices. one or more separate devices in real-time.


Software development kits (SDK) are a comprehensive set of software tools that developers use to create applications for specific programs. SDKs typically include a compiler, debugger, and application programming interfaces (APIs), in addition to other resources.


A feature that allows developers to add new elements to their technology stack without having to integrate additional software development kits (SDKs).


A support model that enables customers to find answers to their questions and resolve issues for themselves, with 24/7 availability. Self-service channels include customer portals, knowledge base, and online forums.

Self-Service Adoption Rate

A metric that measures the percentage of customers that embrace the use of self-service channels to find answers to questions and resolve issues. A high rate of user adoption is a measure of customer satisfaction with the services provided, while reducing costs and improving efficiency for businesses.

Self-Service Containment Rate

Refers to the percentage of customers who resolve their issues via an automated system without necessitating a transfer to a human agent.

Service Activation

Refers to the act of powering on — or “going live” — of the service.

Subcomponent Recognition

Refers to the ability of computer vision algorithms to detect a lesser or secondary element that is part of the larger component. For example, a main component would be a human hand, and a sub-component would be skin tone.

Smart Home Service

IoT-based technologies that enable homeowners to remotely control devices in their homes, such as lights, appliances, thermostats, and other devices using a smartphone or tablet.

Smart Home Support

Refers to technical assistance related to the installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and maintenance of smart home devices and service.

Service Silos

A term that describes a team, process, or system that does not interact with any other team, process or system. For example, when customer service and marketing are not aligned, or when a specific service team is disconnected from another.


An abbreviation for Service Level Agreement, an SLA is a commitment between a service provider and a client that defines expectations for quality and availability of service, as well as penalties if those expectations are not achieved.

Smart Assist

A feature offered by some intelligent assistants (chatbots) that provides next-best-action recommendations to call center agents, helping them resolve customer inquiries faster.

Speed Test

A measurement of the maximum speed between a device and a test server, using the device’s internet connection. Performed to find how fast the device can upload and download information, or stream video.


Technician Enablement

Refers to initiatives that aim to make service technicians more effective at performing their day-to-day tasks, often based on enhanced real-time communication and next-generation tools and technologies.

Technician Idle Time

A productivity metric that measures the percentage of the day that technicians spend on non-billable tasks, such as time spent on paperwork, waiting for parts, etc.


Short for transactional Net Promoter Score, tNPS is a method companies use to survey their customers about how satisfied they were with a recent transaction or specific interaction with the business.

Transfer / Escalation Rate

A call center metric that measures how often a customer’s issue must be sent on to a more experienced or skilled agent, generally due to customer dissatisfaction with the initial handling of the case, or a technical difficulty on the part of the agent.


A step-by-step approach to determining why something does not work as expected and finding how to best resolve the problem.

Truck Roll Optimization

Refers to the activities involved in ensuring that costly truck rolls – situations where a technician is dispatched to solve a problem – are minimized, generally via improved customer service or self-service options.

Truck Roll Reduction Rate

A KPI metric that measures the percentage decrease over time of how often a company dispatches an expert to deliver service at a customer’s location.

Two-Way Video Support

Method of delivering technical support where a remotely-located technician provides assistance over a live video call with the end user, and both sides can see each other in real-time.


Unplanned Machine Downtime

A metric that refers to an unexpected shutdown or failure of equipment that causes delays, productivity challenges, and high costs.

Upsell Rate

A sales metric that tracks the number of purchases that customers make beyond the initial product they expected to buy. The rate is calculated by looking at the number of customers who took an upsell divided by the total number of customers.

User Friction

Describes any difficulty that a user experiences with regard to a product or service, including complex, time-consuming, or annoying workflows.

User Onboarding

Activities involved with ensuring new users acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to achieve success – whether for an app, software, technical tool, or website.


Video Customer Support

Method of delivering customer service over a live video call between a support rep and a customer.

Virtual Assistant

Sometimes referred to as conversational bots or chatbots, intelligent Virtual Assistants are AI-based platforms that are capable of assisting humans in a variety of tasks with personalized responses to queries. Their goal is to provide customers with 24/7 service while reducing the workload on human agents.

Virtual Unboxing

Refers to the use of AR technology to engage users as if they are unpacking a new device, enabling them to interact virtually with their new product.

Visits Completed within SLA

A metric that measures how many technician visits occurred within a specific time frame, as agreed upon in the provider-client signed Service Level Agreement.

Visits per Engineer per Day

A metric that describes how many engineers visits are expected to occur each day, as agreed upon in the provider-client signed Service Level Agreement.

Visual AI

A field of artificial intelligence that provides computers with the capability to accurately see, understand, and interpret visual information from digital images and videos.

Visual AI Instance Segmentation

A computer vision AI-related technique that detects and localizes an object in an image pixel by pixel.

Visual AI Object Detection

A computer vision AI task that identifies and locates objects in an image or video.

Visual AI Segmentation

Refers to a machine learning task that is more detailed than object detection; it involves clustering parts of an image together that belong to the same object class.

Visual Automation

The act of automating the ability of computers to accurately see, understand, and interpret visual information from digital images and videos.

Visual Claims

Refers to when a remote visual communication platform enables policyholders to file insurance claims in real time.

Visual Customer Experience

A situation where a brand uses images, video, or graphics as visual cues to engage and interact with customers, before, during, and post-purchase.

Visual Digital Transformation

Concept that explains how organizations are increasingly incorporating more engaging digital/remote first customer experiences that incorporate the use of vision at more touchpoints, use cases, and departments over time while automating repetitive tasks.

Visual Engagement

A concept where users instantly stream their mobile device camera or screen via web connection, for real-time, interactive visual assistance.

Visual Engagement Tools

Digital tools that allow for live, personalized one-on-one conversation with customers in real-time, such as video chat, screen sharing, co-browsing, and voice chat.

Visual Knowledge Base

A repository of images that are tagged and classified to aid computer vision-powered systems with issue identification and resolutions.

Visual Support Reporting

A feature that enabled companies to analyze and report on the effectiveness of their visual support offering. It looks at how successful the company is in providing customer assistance through real-time video.

Visual Service History

A feature that enables the call center agent to access all previous visual interactions with the customer from one convenient location.

Visual Technical Support

Integration of visual tools that enable call center agents to provide live assistance through real-time video. An effective way to provide personalized service, improve customer experience, and hasten issue resolution.