A — F          |          G — K          |          L — P          |          Q — U          |          V — W


Agent Assist

An intelligent assistant that integrates into an existing customer support system. It helps improve the efficiency of customer service agents by quickly connecting them to the content they need to resolve customer issues.

Agent Monitoring

Also known as surveillance or predictive agents, a type of intelligent software that continuously reports on computer equipment and system performance and malfunctions. They watch complex computer networks predicting when crashes or other defects may occur.


A set of rules instructing computer systems to perform specific tasks. Rules can be as simple as multiplying two numbers, or as complex as playing encoded media files.

AI-HI Blending

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and human insight (HI) that leverages the advantages and strengths of each to make them more efficient resources and to optimize customer service processes.

ANI Spoofing

Also known as Caller ID Spoofing, is an illegal activity used to defraud, harm, or obtain something of value from the recipient of a telephone call. This is accomplished by displaying a fraudulent Caller ID to the recipient.

Apple Messages for Business

A free, convenient way for customers to communicate with participating businesses. The communication uses the Messages app in iOS, macOS, watchOS, and iPadOS from different entry points like Wallet, Maps, or Search results.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The computer simulation of human intelligence by machines programmed to think like humans and mimic their behavior. The term is also used to describe any machine that exhibits human traits such as problem solving and learning.

Asynchronous Messaging

Also referred to as “async” messaging, describes any conversation where the participants are not concurrently active in the conversation via a messaging platform. This is great for the customer because they are able to start, pause, and resume a conversation at their convenience, and with the right tools an virtual or human agent can pick up the conversation right where they left off.

Average Handling Time (AHT)

A common call center metric representing the average duration of a customer interaction. It starts with the customer’s initiation of a call and includes all talk and hold time until the termination of the call.


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

The contracting out of non-primary business activities to third-party providers. BPO services include payroll, human resources (HR), accounting and customer/call center activities. It may also be referred to as Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES).

Business Messaging

Refers to a set of channels that companies and consumers use to communicate with each other. The most common messaging channel is SMS or text messaging and is often used to share shipping notifications, marketing offers, promotional campaigns, and appointment reminders. Consumers are now adopting newer messaging channels like Apple Business Chat and Google Business Messages to communicate with brands anytime, anywhere, from any device.



A computer program designed to simulate a natural human conversation with a user via messaging apps or voice. The chatbot programmatically processes and interprets users’ words and phrases to provide nearly instant, preset answers. It is colloquially referred to as a “bot.”

Collaborative Tagging

Also known as social tagging or folksonomy. Enables users to apply public tags to online items. This activity is typically done to make items easier to find at a later date.


Refers to a program’s ability to divide a task into parts that can be processed independently of each other but at the same time. This allows a single task to be executed out of order, and still have the overall result remain the same as if they were executed in a defined order, allowing the overall task to be completed faster.

Contact Center

Manages customer inquiries via voice calls, email, messaging apps, and other data applications. In comparison, a Call Center only handles incoming and outgoing voice calls.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

A cloud-based customer experience solution that allows a company to utilize a Contact Center provider's software. A CCaaS business model allows a company to purchase only the technology they need and reduce the need for internal support.

Contextual Conversations

The bidirectional transfer of information between two parties where both are aware of the relational, environmental, and cultural context of the exchange. In simple terms, it is a conversation between two parties where both sides are completely aware of all the aspects of the conversation.

Conversational Ads

A conversational AI system launched in an add setting typically aimed to drive brand or product awareness.

Conversational AI

Automated systems using AI to manage conversations between chatbots on behalf of companies and people, consisting of two parts: utterances, what the consumer says; and responses generated by the chatbot. The goal of conversational AI systems is to contain the consumer in this channel by completing their journey. The main purpose of this interaction is to retrieve information and complete transactions such as payments or purchases (or other forms of conversational commerce). Conversational AI systems can manifest in a variety of channels including messaging apps, speech-based assistants, and chatbots. These systems can use context and user data to create personalized customer experiences that are appropriate to channel, vertical, and the customer journey.

Conversational Commerce

Refers to customer support, questions and answers, personalized recommendations, reviews, and purchases happening within a messaging app or format. In this form of engagement, the consumer may be interacting with a human representative, a chatbot, or a mix of both.

Conversation Compliance

Refers to evaluation of a visitor-agent conversation transcript and patterns for policy compliance, conversation efficiencies, and fraud detection/prevention.

Conversational Design

A design language used to create a conversation flow and establish an underlying logic. It integrates several disciplines to create a language based on human conversation, including voice/user interface and interaction design, plus visual, motion, audio design, and UX writing.

Cost per Conversation (CPC or CPCon)

A metric illustrating the cost per conversation with a customer/prospect. It is usually calculated as the cost of operating a contact center during a set period of time divided by the total number of conversations realized during that time.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

A single-item metric that measures the effort necessary from a customer to get an issue resolved, a request fulfilled, a product purchased/returned, or a question answered.

Cost per Resolved Contact

A KPI measurement on how much each contact costs your call center. It is a key part of cost-benefit analyses and tracks the wage and operating costs associated with each time an agent picks up the phone or sends an email.

Customer Engagement

Refers to the emotional connection between a customer and a brand/company. It is demonstrated by the sum total of consumer interactions that suggest increased brand loyalty, purchase increase, and voluntary promotion of a brand.

Customer Experience

A customer’s interaction with an organization, company, or brand. A positive experience helps strengthen customer loyalty, brand affinity, and increase revenue. It also generates the potential for positive referrals to new customers.

Customer Journey

The sum-total experiences that a customer has with a company or brand. It includes each and every touchpoint from first contact through final purchase, customer service, and after-sale support.

Customer Loyalty

A customer’s attachment to a company, a product, or a service and their perceived value of that company and their dedication to that brand above all others in the marketplace.

Customer Satisfaction

A measurement of how “happy” a customer is with a company's products, services, and capabilities. Customer satisfaction information is collected through surveys and ratings and can help a company determine improvements and changes to its products and services with the potential to strengthen its competitive advantage.


Digital Transformation

The application of digital technologies to create new or modified business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market needs.

Deep Learning

Also referred to as deep neural learning or deep neural network, it is the subdiscipline of Machine Learning concerned with algorithms and artificial neural networks inspired by the structure and function of the human brain. Deep Learning imitates data processing and pattern creation activities of the human brain to realize tasks like object detection, speech recognition, and decision-making.

Deep Neural Network

A neural network with a level of complexity that exceeds two layers. Deep neural networks use sophisticated mathematical modeling to process data in complex ways.

Digital Self-Service

A solution or a group of solutions that provide autonomous consumer activity on a website or intranet. This approach is typically used for simple support activities such as managing contracts, requesting quotes, or finding the answer to a customer’s question.

Directed Dialogs/Dialogue

An interactive voice response format where callers are presented with options, such as yes or no questions or pre-programmed responses, to move the interaction forward.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A convenient way to provide answers addressing common topics and issues.

Facebook Messenger/Facebook Messenger for Business

Instant messaging features built into the Facebook platform for personal and business use.

First Contact Resolution (FCR)

An important contact center metric and a critical element of customer relationship management. A contact center's ability to resolve customer issues the first time a customer calls, requiring no further follow-up.

Fraud Detection

A set of activities conducted to determine whether fraudulent activity has occurred.


GBM or Google’s Business Messages

A mobile conversational channel that combines entry points on Google Maps, search, and brand websites to create a rich, asynchronous messaging experience to engage customers and drive business results.


The distribution of contact center agents across multiple geographic areas, including work-from-home options, to ensure business continuity in case of a location shut down.  Ensuring your data center locations are distributed globally and are able to operate in a standalone capacity and delivers redundancy required to maintain business critical services.

Gig Economy

A labor market characterized by short-term and freelance contracts as opposed to permanent jobs. Also referred to as the sharing economy or the collaborative economy, and often in reference to platforms such as Airbnb and Uber.



A simplification, or “rule of thumb” that reduces the scope of the search for a solution to a given problem. It often provides “good-enough solutions” when traditional methods are too slow.

Heuristics Technique

It is a problem-solving methodology that uses shortcuts to produce a result sufficient for an immediate goal. It employs a practical method that may not be optimal but solves for a limited time frame or deadline. Heuristics enable practical quick decision-making when working with complex datasets.


Intent Models

Intent Models are AI models that are designed to classify the user's desired goal in the context of the business process and possible conversational flows. Intent models are trained based on input data of existing actions and communications and can be adapted from industry vertical-specific models and augmented for company or journey-specific intents. Intents can be at various degrees of detail and might span from something as general as "sales" or "support" to something more specific like "cancel payment" or "mortgage payment extension help." Understanding the intent behind the end user's utterance allows a conversational AI system to calculate the next best action to move along the conversation or business journey and calculate the right follow up CRM integration transactions and/or automated response to the user.

Intent Discovery

Detecting and identifying a user’s intent from their written and spoken communication. It forms an important part of dialogue modeling for both AI and voice agents.

Intent Prediction

The result of leveraging pattern data to determine intent before a customer takes action.

Intent-Based Routing

Leverages intent discovery from contextual scenarios to route conversations to the agent most suited to address the situation. For example, cues from the utterances of an increasingly frustrated customer might route the conversation to a live agent.


Communication or direct involvement with a live agent or a bot by phone, messaging, email, or in person.

Interactive Voice Response systems (IVR or IVRS)

A technology that allows callers to converse with a conversational AI system using speech or DTMF to accomplish tasks and complete journeys. While often the IVR conversation may solve the need of the user, at times the system may end up transferring to an appropriate live customer service agent with contextual information.


See IVR Messaging.


Previously known as IVR2Chat. A [24]7.ai term used to describe IVR technology that directs customers from a voice channel to a digital channel based on the best action for their needs, also deflecting call volumes from more costly voice channels.



Used to describe the interactions a customer has with a company on all available channels : telephone, web, social media, in-store, and email, for example. Often broken into the 2 distinct paths, sales and customer service.

Journey Orchestration

The process of actively working toward creating positive customer experiences, rather than relying on it to happen organically. The end goal is a seamless, interactive customer journey across existing systems, channels, and touchpoints.


Knowledge Management

The conscious process of defining, structuring, retaining, and sharing the knowledge and experience within an organization. The main goal of knowledge management is to improve an organization's efficiency and keep knowledge capital within the company.


Live Chat

Also referred to as live help or live support, it allows a customer to communicate with customer service representatives in real time. Rather than force a customer to speak to a representative on the phone, visitors can have a live interaction with agents.


Messaging Orchestration

Processes and systems put into place to ensure a unified articulation of messages and policies in a company.

Machine Learning

The application of artificial intelligence (AI) to allow a system to automatically learn and improve without being explicitly programmed for a task. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it for faster and continuous improvement.

Model Abstraction Layer

In computer science, a Model Abstraction Layer is the generalization of a conceptual model or algorithm, not specific to a particular implementation. It is a way to hide the implementation details of deep functionality. The separation facilitates interoperability and platform independence. This is how peripheral devices can work with different computers or operating systems.


A marketing strategy that offers customers a variety of ways to purchase a product. A multichannel strategy covers purchases from a mix of in-store, website, telephone, mail orders, interactive television, catalog ordering and comparison-shopping sites. These channels tend to be siloed and often treated as separate business units that have little interaction with one another. (also see Omnichannel)


Natural Language Processing (NLP)

The interaction between human language and computers. Everyday examples include spell-check, autocomplete and Siri®.

Neural Text-to-Speech (NTTS)

A model that uses machine learning technologies to generate synthesized speech from text that sounds like a human voice. Using neural networks, it is possible to produce natural-sounding speech featuring a variety of accents.


An individual node in a flow chart or graph representation of all possible conversational paths through a conversational AI.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A metric used to assess customer loyalty for a brand, product, or service. It is often used as part of a customer relationship management strategy because the metric is relatively easy to calculate.



Used to define a multichannel approach to sales, marketing or customer service that focuses on providing seamless customer experiences—whether the consumer engages via phone, web site chat, messaging or mobile app. It is also referred to as Omnichannel Retail or Omnichannel Commerce. (Also see Multichannel).

Outbound Messaging

A message routed from a client or an application and delivered to the end user's mobile phone. It may also be referred to as a Mobile Terminated message (MT) and signifies that the endpoint of the message is a mobile phone.



Using the knowledge, a company has about a customer to tailor interactions and experiences for that customer using technology. Often used as part of their marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) strategy.


Reinforcement Learning (RL)

An area of machine learning that focuses on the suitability of a particular action to maximize the reward in a particular situation. In the absence of a training dataset, the system learns from experience.

Rich Communication Service (RCS)

A protocol between both mobile operators and phones replacing SMS messages with a richer text-message system and multimedia support, all via the data network.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Refers to software that can be programmed to do basic tasks across applications—just like human workers would do. RPA software is designed to reduce the burden of simple, repetitive tasks for employees.

Root Model & Journey-Level Models

A model that spans all the possible topics that is typically present at the root node or very start of the conversation. It can also be globally available in the conversation to support topic changes mid-conversation. A journey-level model is a more specific model tailored to the specific node in a journey-specific path with topics and interaction points that are specific to a given journey and the end user's place inside the journey.


Sentiment Analysis

The process of determining whether a piece of writing is positive, negative, or neutral. This helps data analysts gauge public opinion, conduct nuanced market research, monitor brand and product reputation, and better understand customer experiences.

Smart Responses

Also referred to as Smart Reply or Smart Compose, it is an AI technology that searches the information available on a platform (email, text, message apps) and offers three response options to choose from based on most frequent (or relevant) answers.

Speech Recognition

The ability for a computer to identify and respond to human speech.

Speaker Recognition

The ability for a computer to recognize and identify a person by their spoken voice. The application of this technology allows a system to limit access and control various services by voice.

Sentiment Detection

Also known as opinion mining or emotion AI, it is a subdiscipline of machine learning and natural language processing that tries to identify the emotions within a text or speech sample.

Skills Based Routing (SBR)

A case assignment strategy used in support centers to assign incoming cases to the most suitable agent, rather than simply choosing the next available agent.

Speech-to-Text (STT)

The act of using an automated speech recognizer (ASR) to turn human spoken utterances into transcribed digital text representations.

Social Intents

Insights that can be used as indicators regarding interest levels in a company or product obtained by collecting social media data. Information such as who customers are following and/or engaging with including relevant key influencers, or what they are talking about regarding relevant topics.

Supervised Learning

A form of machine learning (ML) that “learns” a particular function by way of mapping an input to an output based on sample input-outputs. A supervised learning algorithm analyzes new data in comparison to its example data to produce an inferred function, which can then be used to further map new examples.

Synchronous Chat/Chat

A live conversation with a clear start and end that typically has faster customer query response times due to the live and present interaction of both parties. The conversation has a defined beginning and end, and in the context of customer support, the agent solves the customer's issue(s) at the end of the conversation.


TTS (Text-to-Speech)

A form of speech synthesis used to create a spoken version of the text found in an electronic document.

Transaction Compliance

Monitoring transactions in a way that provides proof of compliance, and to counter the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.


Unsupervised Learning

A type of machine learning algorithm used to draw inferences from datasets consisting of input data without labeled responses. The most common unsupervised learning method is cluster analysis, which is used for exploratory data analysis to find hidden patterns or grouping in data. In contrast to supervised learning, unsupervised learning provides unlabeled data that the algorithm tries to make sense of, by extracting features and patterns on its own.


Anything someone interacting with a chatbot communicates. For example, if a customer asks a store chatbot, “What are your opening hours?” This is an utterance.


Virtual Agent/Virtual Assistant

An automated or computerized customer service. Virtual agents can provide relevant advice and information to a customer and sustain a relevant conversation via a voice channel, web site, messaging or mobile apps.

Voice Biometrics

Also referred to as Voice Recognition, Speaker Recognition, Voice Printing, and Voice Authentication. Used to verify the identity of a speaker. Voice biometrics map a speaker's unique voice characteristics and later uses the map for identification. A user typically provides one or more audio samples which the system analyzes to create a unique voiceprint for the speaker.

VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant)/Smart Speakers

A cloud-based, artificial intelligence-enabled smart adviser software, often used in conjunction with standalone smart speakers (such as Amazon Echo®), can also be integrated with other devices/equipment.


Work from Home (WFH)

When an employee works from their place of residence, rather than from the office. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to create WFH policies and allowed their employees to work from home full-time or when it is most convenient for them.

Workplace Monitoring

Various methods of workplace surveillance to gather information about the activities and locations of staff members. It is often used to improve productivity and protect corporate resources.