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Call Center

Understanding the Birth of “Call Center”

The term “Call Center” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1983. Since then, a multitude of definitions and specialized abbreviations have emerged within the Call Center industry. This article aims to provide useful insights for those who are currently working or interested in working in the Call Center field, helping them grasp the definitions and understand the characteristic abbreviations used within the industry.

Defining Call Center and Contact Center

Call Center:

A center that provides customer care services through phone channels. In addition to customer care, Call Centers often encompass other functions such as telephone sales, marketing, and providing information to customers. For more information, check out the article “10 Things You Need to Know About Call Centers.”

Contact Center:

An elevated form of Call Center. The main difference is that Contact Centers can provide customer services through multiple interactive channels, also known as multi-channels, including phone, email, web chat, SMS, and video. For further reading, refer to the article “Contact Center: Personalizing Customer Service.”

Specialized English Terms Used in Call Centers

1. Inbound:

Refers to activities where businesses receive communication from customers.

2. Outbound:

Refers to activities where businesses proactively reach out to customers. To optimize outbound campaigns, read the article “How to Optimize Outbound Campaigns.”

3. Telemarketing:

Combining “Telephone” and “Marketing,” telemarketing refers to marketing through telephone communication.

4. Telesale:

Combining “Telephone” and “Sale,” telesale refers to selling products or services over the phone.

5. BPO – Business Process Outsourcing:

Outsourcing specific business processes to external companies who operate under the client company’s name. For example, a company that lacks a customer care department (Call Center) may hire an external entity to handle customer care for a specified period. These BPO companies can provide everything from personnel to facilities and technology, similar to an actual department within a company.

6. CRM – Customer Relationship Management:

Software used for managing customer relationships. This software allows companies to store, synchronize, and integrate customer information, including basic details, purchase history, and both online and offline interactions. This helps all departments within the company have access to customer information and manage the service process effectively. CRM provides a comprehensive overview of potential customers, understanding their needs, and building relationships by providing the most suitable products and excellent customer care.

7. Customer Service Representatives – CSR’s:

Also known as call center agents or telephone agents. For more information, read the article “6 Key Positions in Call Centers.”

8. Agent:

Another term for a customer service representative. For more information, read the article “6 Key Positions in Call Centers.”

9. Interactive Voice Response – IVR:

Automatic voice interaction. When a customer calls, the IVR system provides pre-recorded instructions via keypad navigation. Learn more about IVR in the article “IVR – The Powerful Right-hand of Call Centers” and “Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – The Powerful Right-hand of Call Centers.”

10. PBX – Private Branch Exchange:

An internal telephone system that allows departments and employees within a company to make calls to each other without incurring additional costs.

11. VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol:

A telephone system that operates over the internet.

12. ACD – Automatic Call Distribution:

(or Automatic Contact Distribution) An automatic call routing system. Incoming calls are automatically distributed to available agents in the queue. Learn more in the article “The Heart of Call Centers – Automatic Call Distribution (ACD).”

13. Routing:

14. Queue:

A telephone channel queue. Incoming calls can be directed to different branches based on the company’s setup and customer requirements, such as placing orders, technical support, and providing information. These branches are referred to as queues.

15. Recording:

Call recording. Learn more in the article “The Importance of Call Recording and Quality Control Software in Call Centers.”

16. AQM – Advance Quality Management:

Quality management and control. It includes call and screen recording applications, advanced search capabilities, and annotations on recorded segments. Learn more in the article “The Importance of Call Recording and Quality Control Software in Call Centers.”

17. LCM – List & Campaign Management:

Outbound campaign management.

18. WFM – Workforce Management:

Human resource management.

19. Omnichannel:

Integrated multichannel customer experience.

20. Self-service:

Customer contact with a company without the assistance of a customer service representative. Learn more in the article “Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – The Powerful Right-hand of Call Centers.”

This is only part one of the article, which presents definitions and concepts of English terms commonly used in software applications and job positions within Call Centers. We hope this article provides you with valuable knowledge about the Call Center customer service industry.

For more information, you can refer to “Essential Skills for Call Center Agents” to equip yourself further.

Contact us for Call Center system consultation: or call 1900 633 568.

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