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Altipedia - Glossary of terms

Starting a Contact Center? This handy guide explains contact center business and operational terms for you to learn how to excel interactions with your customers and optimize your customer experience.


Automatic Call Distributor. The ACD is a telephone system used in inbound contact centers. It automatically answers, queues, and distributes calls to agents, plays announcements to contacts, and provides real-time and historical reports on all related activities.


Agent is the person that handles contact center interactions, such as calls, emails, Facebook or Twitter posts. Agents can be human or automated. Automated agents are IVR and routing agents.


Alarms empower contact center management to be aware and act upon critical situations in real time. They guarantee that the contact center runs as smoothly as possible by triggering alerts on contact center activities, such as agent work, performance objectives, contact management, and so on if problems occur.

ASR -Automatic Speech Recognition

Computer recognition of a language spoken by a human. The computer recognizes, in real time, all words spoken by any person, enabling the person to interact with an IVR using only speech.


Sets of large volumes of data, that companies can use to get valuable insights on how to increase customer engagement, optimize operations, and find new sources of revenue.


Campaign that handles inbound and outbound interactions simultaneously, be it to meet specific busines needs or, for example, to balance the workload of the contact center.


Allows contact center supervisors to enter a conversation already occurring between an agent and a customer to, for example, help the agent handle the customer query.


Department of a company that handles calls to and from customers.


Operation defined at the contact center to achieve a business objective, such as providing customer service or selling a product.

CIM -Customer Interaction Management

Software application that handles and manages all interactions, regardless of channel, between a customer and a company.


A contact is the person with whom the contact center does business in the context of a campaign.


A contact center (also referred to as a call center) manages all customer contacts with a company. It handles all type of customer contact points, such as calls, emails, social media, website inquiries and chats, and keeps all information related to each contact/customer. A contact center is usually part of a company´s overall customer relationship management strategy.


cloud based contact center is a contact center that is stored in the cloud, rather than hosted on-site. This solution frees you from infrastructure and network ties.You get only the services you need and leave everything else to the solution´s provider.


Hosted contact center solution enables you to manage the daily operations of the contact center, with all available technical and operational options, but leave the infrastructure management up to a host.


The contact center infrastructure is hosted on-site. It gives you full control of the whole system (software and hardware).


Business strategy that aims to sell an additional product or a service to an already existing customer. For example, if a customer purchased a smart phone, you may reach the same customer to sell an insurance plan for it.

CTI - Computer Telephony Integration

Integrates computers and telephone systems. It also involves using a computer to handle phone calls.


Perception of a customer with the products and services of a company. The customer experience details the feelings of the customer journey with the company. A successful customer experience drives customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.


The different stages customers go through in their relationship with a company. A complete analysis of the customer experience at each individual touchpoint with a company enables to pinpoint improvements and provide your customers with a memorable experience.


Process that creates a complete description of each customer to help make decisions that matter to your business. It gathers information from demographic, geographics, buying patterns and history, and others to create small groups of similar people to contact and do business with.


Application that manages the relationship of the company with its customers. It enables companies to keep and share all information associated to customers and their relationship across time.


Turns raw data into useful information. It analyzes data from different perspectives, finds relationships between it, and summarizes everything enabling businesses to increase revenue and cut costs.


Agent tool that provides a single place to work. Altitude Agent Desktop integrates data from multiple applications into one single screen and enables agents to successfully engage with your customers.

DNCL – Do Not Call List

Contains phone numbers of people that do not want to be called for telemarketing purposes. Contact centers must ensure that the numbers that are going to be dialed are not part of any DNCL, or they might be subject to fines.

DNIS - Dialed Number Identification Service

Informs companies about the phone number dialed by the customer. For example, a financial institution that sells credit cards may have a number for VISA and a different one for American Express. Knowing the number dialed by the customer allows them to route the customer to the right credit card service.

DTMF – Dual Tone Multi-Frequency

Beep sound transmitted by pressing the telephone´s touch tone keys where each key generates a pair of tones.


Distributes inbound interactions through comprehensive, simple, yet flexible routing rules that can be customized according to the specific needs of each contact center.


First Call Resolution or First Contact Resolution. Contact center performance indicator that shows whether the need of the customer was solved right at the first call or interaction.


Applies game and design techniques to engage and motivate agents to achieve the defined goals.


Joins two different networks, usually an internal network with the internet. For example, a router can be considered a gateway.


Graphical User Interface. Refers to an application interface that uses the capabilities of  computer graphics to simplify the use of programs.


Performance indicator related to the total time spent with a call. It spans from the time agents receive the call until finishing the related after call work.


Department of the company that gives customers assistance and support on the company’s products or services. Typically, a help desk service troubleshoots and answers questions about technical products, such as electronic equipment, computers, software, and others.


Agents that work out of their own home instead of the contact center. Home agents are bound to the same security, technology, compliance, management, etc as their fellow agents at the contact center.


Inbound campaigns allow to receive interactions from customers. Interactions can be calls, emails, chats, social media, and others. Examples of inbound campaigns are customer service campaigns.


Routing strategy that delivers an interaction to the most appropriate agent to handle it. Altitude Router takes into account the priority, agent skills, and other indicators before the delivery. It greatly saves agent´s working time, increases first contact resolution (FCR) rates, and improves customer experience.


Mixes inbound and outbound interactions, such as calls, emails, twits, and others into a unified queue. Interactions are delivered to an agent according to several parameters, such as priority, agent skills, media type, and so on.

IP-PBX - Internet Protocol  Private Branch Exchange

Software-based PBX phone system that makes calls over IP, reducing communication costs.

IVR - Interactive Voice Response

IVR is a supplement or a stand-in for a human agent. Altitude IVR enables automated agents to  interact with a human contact through the use of voice, touch tones, keypad, and others. IVRs can be used to control simple interactions with contacts, such as surveys or the intitial part of a call while a human agent becomes available.


Integrated and centralized repository of information that allows agents to provide quick, accurate, and consistent information to customers. Knowledge base contents can be reused according to the specific needs of the campaigns. Altitude Agent Desktop has an integrated knowledge base to ease agent’s work and improve customer service.

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

Measurable value that shows whether the company is achieving key business objectives. KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the company or in specific departments, such as the call center.


Mobile apps that improve the communication with customers, ease field work, and enhance management processes. Mobility technology supports customer, agent, and management apps and brings them all together to improve the customer experience.


Multichannel contact centers give their customer the option to choose the media type that suits them better at a given time. The contact center is able to provide the same level of service regardless of the channel.


Integration of several forms of media at the contact center. Altitude Multimedia offers a variety of channels, reaching from the traditional phone, to self-service apps and IVR up to social media and blogging into a single view, providing the best customer experience.

NPS - Net Promoter Score

Performance indicator of growth used to assess the customer´s loyalty to a company. There are two types of NPS: transactional and relationship. Transactional NPS happens immediately after the interaction occurs and is used to assess that specific interaction. Relationship NPS happens in intervals to assess the quality of the relationship customer-company.


The ability to combine all the customer interacion channels to provide a unified, coherent and consistent customer experience, regardless of media type, to improve customer engagement and loyalty.


Outbound campaigns start the interaction with contacts from a contact list. For example, a telemarketing campaign calls people and/or sends emails to sell a product.


Defines the outbound calls strategy. The pacing mode has different options such as Preview dial, Power dial (also referred to as Progressive dial), and Predictive dial. Altitude Dialer combines all the pacing modes to help you improve dialing results.

PBX - Private Branch Exchange

Telephone system that handles internal and external phone calls. The PBX connects all the internal telephone extensions to the PSTN (Public Switch Telephone Network).


Power dialing places calls only when an agent is available to handle the call.


Predictive dialing optimizes the time of agents by reducing the idle times between connected calls and freeing agents from dialing calls. Predictive dialing gathers statistics concerning the duration of calls, how long it takes for calls to be answered, and how often are calls answered. It allows to place several calls per agent, by predicting when agents will be available and expecting some calls to fail.


Preview dialing enables agents to first view the available information about the customer and decide when to place the call. In addition to the information about the customer, agents may also view all the history of the customer with the contact center. Only after analyzing the customer information, the call is made.

PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network

Telephone networks operated by national telephony carriers, that provide infrastructure and services to enable communication between different telephones.


The line of interactions waiting to be handled by the contact center agents. Interactions go out of the queue according to several paramenters, such as the interaction channel, the priority of the interaction or the availability of the agents.

ROI – Return On Investment

Performance metric that measures the return of an investment against the investment’s cost. It helps to access the profitability of an investment.

RONA – Redirect On No Answer

Prevents calls from ringing at agent workstations until the contact gives up waiting and hangs up. Calls can be redirected to either another agent or another campaign.


Process in a network that takes the interaction from one point (when it arrives at the contact center) to a final destination (when it is delivered to an agent), taking into account distribution mechanisms, contact center policies, and so on.


A script guides agents through an interaction with the customer. Scripts pop up at the agent workstation and provide a screen flow that tells agents what to say at the different stages of the interaction. Scripts reduce interaction handling time, increase sales conversion and customer satisfaction rates.


Agents have a combination of skills, that is, specific subjects where they are experts. Each set of skills is grouped in skill profiles according to the skills required by the interactions. Each skill profile contains only the skills requested by each type of interaction.


Routing option that matches the needs of each customer to the agent that is best prepared to handle those needs. It ensures that the interaction is handled by the most appropriate agent to improve FRC (First Call Resolution) rates and customer satisfaction.


Telephone application that makes calls over the internet. It works on several devices, form workstations to laptops and mobile phones allowing the user to make and receive phone calls without a physical phone set.


Optimizes business results by choosing the right contacts to dial at the right time. It segments contact lists by business attributes and controls each segment using day types, time intervals, KPIs and others.


Person responsible for a group of agents in the contact center and the performance of the campaigns. Altitude Management Portal is a complete, customizable application that enables supervisors to manage and monitor multimedia contact center operations, performance, and the outcome of activities in real time.


Performance indicator that shows for how long an agent was talking to a customer. It starts when the agent says “hello” and ends at “goodbye”.

TCO – Total Cost of Ownership

Financial estimate of the direct and indirect costs of a product or system across its entire life cycle.

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

Communication language for all computers on the Internet. It enables communication within all computers by defining how to package, send, and receive data. 


Direct marketing approach where agents proactively contact customers, using the phone or email, to sell a product or service, perform surveys , or retrieve information.


Phone line on a telephone network. Trunk lines are routed through a telephone network to provide voice and data transfers beteween two different parties.


Altitude´s contact center suite that connects all touch points of the customer journey to help companies establish and  maintain a relationship with their customers.


Gathers all interactions, regardless of media type, origin, and others into a single line. Delivers the interactions to agents according to defined policies, such as priority or skills.


Business strategy that aims to sell a more expensive model of the product or service to already existing customers. For example, offer the newest model of a smart phone to customers that already have that brand of phone.


Altitude’s IP switch, based on Asterisk, optimized by Altitude for performance, scalability, and direct integration with Altitude Xperience. It allows your company to quickly expand operations to meet dynamic business needs.


Supports contact center agents dispersed through several geographical locations, instead of a single location, and enables them to provide the same service as if they were at the same contact center physical location.

VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol

Handles phone calls through an internet connection instead of analog telephone lines. VoIP service providers usually offer much lower rates than traditional phone companies.

VPN – Virtual Private Network

Enables users to create a secure connection to a private network through a public one, such as the internet. A VPN can securely connect multiple sites that are physically dispersed.


A workflow process connects the contact center with all the departmens of a company. Introducing workflow in a contact center allows to unify all customer activities across all departments and avoid loose and dead ends. Altitude Workflow grants the contact center access to the workflows of the entire organization.


Seeks to reduce operational costs while increasing the customer experience. It profits from data gathered from recording, quality monitoring, human resource management and others to deliver actionable information that helps to increase efficiency and drive customer satisfaction.


Altitude´s contact center solution on the cloud. Complete, out-of-the-box solution that enables companies to meet their customer experience challenges