Our contact centre terminology jargon buster

Our contact centre terminology jargon buster

26th November 2021

By Leaha James

There’s no doubt that every sector has its own jargon. It makes sense to those in the know – but bamboozles everyone else!

At Connect Assist, we try to avoid jargon when talking to clients, but sometimes it can be useful. So if you don’t know your ABR from your IVR, read on for our quick jargon-buster to call centre abbreviations and terminology…

ABR (Abandon Rate)

This measures the percentage of inbound phone calls made to a call centre that are abandoned by the customer before being answered by an advisor. It’s a key way we measure performance.

AHT (Average Handling Time)

How long it takes to resolve queries from the moment the customer picks up the phone, to the moment your advisor signs off the case.

It covers the time the customer is on hold or navigating your phone menu, the chat with your advisor, and any follow-up calls and after-call tasks. 


A blended service is one where advisors handle calls for multiple clients. It’s fast and flexible, but best suited for routine or transactional calls. See also ‘dedicated’ below. 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Technology to manage your interactions with customers/ potential customers. At Connect Assist, we use Oracle Service Cloud: an ultra-secure, user-friendly hub which provides all the tools we need for customer services, web and social media. 

CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)

Another KPI (see below), which can be measured through end-of-call customer surveys. We’ll ask your customers a series of questions about the service they’ve received, and feed it back to you.


A dedicated service is where advisors work on just one helpline, providing more in-depth support. Read our recent blog for a deeper dive into the pros and cons of blended versus dedicated helplines.

FTE (Full-Time Equivalent)

In the contact centre world, we actually just talk about ‘the equivalent’. If a client pays for 17 FTE, we might actually need to have 20 people to cover all the different shift patterns, plugging gaps where necessary.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

A computerised telephone system that routes or streamlines calls to helplines. Callers interact via touch tone or speech recognition to get directed to the right service or have their identity validated. Today, IVRs are increasingly being integrated with databases so customers can gain information such as their account balance without speaking to an advisor.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

Targets to enable you to measure progress against objectives.In the contact centre world, your KPIs might be to lower your ABR and AHT, and raise your CSAT! If you find your service is falling short, you can investigate where tweaks are needed. 

QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Control)

The process of making sure services meet the required standard. This includes monitoring advisors’ interactions with customers, checking they’re following procedures, and ensuring that everything is documented as it should be.

Response time

 Another KPI, this is all about how promptly advisors can answer queries. The quicker the better – otherwise, you run into problems with your ABR!

SLA (Service Level Agreement)

When you outsource a service to us, we’ll commit to meeting certain standards at an agreed price. Your SLA will cover things like FTE, ABR, AHT and KPIs – but don’t worry, we’ll talk it all through with you in language you can understand!


This stands for Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), and refers to regulations that protect employees’ rights when a service is outsourced to a new provider or an organisation is transferred to a new employer. It applies when a contact centre takes over the contract for a helpline.

Have we missed anything?

If there are any further call centre terminologies you would like defined, let us know! And if you’re chatting to us about working together and we slip into jargon or acronyms, just give us a nudge and ask us to explain. TTYL (that’s ‘talk to you Later)!


If you need our help in developing more effective, meaningful connections with customers, get in touch today.