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By: Arlette Measures
Outbound Telemarketing Glossary


(Courtesy of CallCenterTeam.com)

Abandonment Rate (AR)

The percentage of callers who hang up before their call is answered by a live agent or before they make a selection in an IVR unit. The Abandonment Rate can be calculated by dividing the number of calls abandoned (NCA) by the number of calls offered (NCO).


A call center staff member handling outgoing or incoming calls. There are a variety of names that a call center agent may be known as such as CSR, operator, or communicator, to name just a few.

Answering Service

Call center service focused on taking calls on behalf of a person or business during break periods or after hours.

Attrition Rate (ATTR)

The rate canceled sales agents make which get cancelled. The Attrition Rate is calculated by dividing the number of cancels by the number of sales.

Average Delay to Abandon (ADA)

The amount of time the average caller who abandoned the call waited before abandoning.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Total time required to handle a single call, on average. In an inbound call center, includes AWT, ATT, and the amount of Outbound Time spent on the incoming call. An accurate calculation is: (TTT + TWT + TOT) / NCH = AHT

Average Talk Time (ATT)

Average amount of time spent talking to customers for each call. This can be tracked in both Inbound / Outbound campaigns. It can be calculated by dividing TTT by NCH.

Average Work Time (AWT)

Average time spent working on call related issues. While wrapping up the call and letting the customer go, the agent is still unavailable for calls while finishing up with the prior contact. It is calculated by dividing TWT by NCH.

Calls / Contacts Per Hour (CPH)

An easy way to measure productivity in the call center. It is calculated by dividing the
NCH by phone time usage of an agents shift.

Cancellation (CANC)

Canceling of a sale which is used when calculating the attrition rate.

Conversion Rate (CONV)

The percent of contact calls made that become verified sales. You can achieve this rate by dividing the number of sales into the number of contacts.


Outbound call centers use this computer telephone technology to dial numbers automatically. It knows to hang up if connecting with voicemail, busy lines, no answers, answering machines and telephone company messages of deadlines. The dialer strives to match phone agents with customers as soon as the customers answer their line.

Direct Response

This is the process of measuring results of direct media. Types of calls that fall under the direct response include reservation bookings, lead capture, surveys, coupon redemption, catalog order entry, dealer locate, fundraising and donation lines, information and referral, mail order fulfillment, market research, merchant processing, and more.

Exception Code

Code for tracking the incidences of various exceptions. The exception code for being in training may be TRNG. Meetings may have the code AtMeeting or MEET. The following codes defined are only sample exception code in which many call centers have their own in-house code systems.

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