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Call Diversion and Deflection Glossary

Need help understanding a term related to call diversion, call deflection, or Visual IVR? Search below for the information you need. 

Abandoned After Threshold

A measure of calls disconnected after waiting in the queue beyond a pre-set “acceptable” time threshold. One of the critical objectives of call deflection/call diversion is to significantly shorten wait times so that the total number of callers who disconnect before reaching an agent declines significantly. 

Abandoned Before Threshold

A measure of calls disconnected after waiting in the queue within a pre-set “acceptable” time threshold. One of the critical objectives of call deflection/call diversion is to significantly shorten wait times so that the total number of callers who disconnect before reaching the customer care team declines significantly. 

Abandoned Call

A phone call made to a call center where the caller hangs up before interacting with an agent. Call diversion and call deflection are designed to mitigate the need for direct agent interaction. Instead, customers are given alternative means for getting tasks completed and/or questions answered. 

Abandonment Rate

The percentage of callers who hang up before an agent answers or before leveraging an alternative means of meeting their needs, like selecting an IVR action or opting into a digital self-service workflow. A primary goal of call diversion and call deflection is to reduce call abandonment by making it easier to self-serve, which mitigates the need to wait for agent interaction. 

Agent

An individual hired by a company or organization to handle customer interactions and contacts in the call center. A primary goal of call diversion and call deflection is to take pressure off agents by mitigating the need for some agent interactions. Over time, organizations may find that they can meet customer needs with fewer agents. 

AI or Artificial Intelligence

The ability of a computer to mimic human cognitive skills such as learning and understanding. AI tools like chatbots are increasingly common for diverting or deflecting inbound calls to  contact center teams

Analytics

A broad term used to describe data-driven analysis. Analytics can identify the common but low-value tasks that drive up call volumes for call centers. They can also determine how effective call mitigation strategies are. An analysis of digital self-service adoption, completion rates, and CSAT scores can help a company evaluate its call diversion and deflection efforts. 

Announcement

A pre-recorded message delivered during a contact center engagement. Announcements can be integrated into IVR or used to ensure compliance with notice and disclosure requirements. Announcements can also inform users of the various self-service options available to the user instead of waiting for a live agent. 

Call Diversion and Call Deflection Apps

Software applications that allow users to perform common inquiries and support tasks without agent assistance. Call diversion and call deflection apps are an important element of a robust and successful strategy to reduce unnecessary calls that reach agents. Robust apps can help customers resolve issues faster and completely and can help contribute to higher customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. 

ASA or Average Speed to Answer

A metric used to calculate the average time a call remains in the queue until an agent engages with the caller. This is sometimes called average delay. Call diversion and call deflection tactics mitigate the need for many inbound customer calls, which often significantly reduces ASA over time. Since ASA is a component of the total time it takes for a customer to resolve an issue, reducing ASA is a valuable component of delivering higher levels of customer satisfaction. 

Automated Attendant

A telephone processing approach that offers callers a recorded menu of choices designed to direct their call appropriately. For instance, a recording will direct the caller to press one for customer service, press two to place an order, and then connect them to the chosen party. In the context of call diversion and call deflection, it is possible to direct customers to digital self-service experiences instead of agent groups. 

Automated Greeting

A prerecorded salutation that plays automatically when a call is answered. Automated greetings can make clear that digital self-service options are available to speed callers to information instead of waiting for live agents. 

Average Contacts Per Hour

The number of contacts that an agent handles in 60 minutes. It is important to note that when a company implements call diversion and call deflection programs, average contacts per hour often drop because simple, straightforward tasks no longer routinely flow to agents. Instead, agents are more focused on complex inquiries that often take longer to resolve. 

Average Delay of Delayed Calls

The average wait callers experience when waiting to connect to an agent. Call diversion and call deflection efforts can profoundly impact average delay times because they can dramatically reduce the number of calls that flow to live agents. 

Average Delay to Abandon

The average time callers wait before the call is abandoned. While call diversion and call deflection don’t necessarily impact this metric, understanding this figure can help you assess the potential value of digital experiences on overall customer relationship health. 

Average Delay to Answer

The average time a call remains in the queue until an agent picks it up. This is also called average speed of answer. Call diversion and call deflection can help you dramatically reduce the average speed to answer by diverting low-value, straightforward calls, thus reducing overall demand on your agent team. 

Average Handle Time (AHT)

AHT measures the average length of interaction, including hold time, talk time, and after-call work. It is important to note that when a company implements call diversion and call deflection programs, average contacts per hour often INCREASE because simple, straightforward tasks no longer routinely flow to agents. Instead, agents are more focused on complex inquiries that often take longer to resolve. 

Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

The average time a call remains in the queue until an agent picks it up. This is also called average speed of answer. Call diversion and call deflection can help you dramatically reduce the average speed to answer by diverting low-value, straightforward calls, thus reducing overall demand on your agent team. 

Base Staff

The minimum number of Brand Specialists necessary to maintain an appropriate service level over time. Call diversion and call deflection should significantly reduce the necessary base staff because many straightforward tasks will be routed to digital self-service and customer service automation experiences. 

Blended Call Center

A call center that leverages a mix of contact methods (voice, chat, SMS, etc.) Call deflection and call diversion can help reduce demand for all types of human-led experiences by providing fast and easy self-service and AI-powered experience alternatives. 

Brand Loyalty 

The likelihood that an individual will repeatedly return to purchase from a company over time. Strong call diversion and deflection programs and robust digital self-service experiences can help drive increased loyalty by speeding users to information and outcomes. 

Call Center Attrition

Agent turnover in the call center. Call diversion and call deflection are designed to mitigate the need for direct agent interaction on straightforward questions and queries. That can help dramatically reduce agent attribution because it helps foster a more challenging and diverse work environment with less repetition. 

Call Center Culture

The character of a call center work environment. Call diversion and call deflection can help drive a more positive call center culture by deflecting low-value customer queries better addressed via self-service or automated experiences. Often, these low-value engagements represent the drudgery of an agent’s job, and lessening their instance helps make for a more exciting and rewarding job/career. 

Call Center Outsourcing

Call center outsourcing refers to the business strategy of partnering with an external company to manage customer contacts. By reducing the number of calls that a live agent must answer, call diversion and deflection reduce demand on call center resources, whether internal or outsourced. Call diversion and call deflection can mitigate the need for adding additional outsourced resources.

Call Drivers 

Call drivers are the reasons why customers make calls to a contact center. Call drivers are an essential insight for call diversion and deflection because they can pinpoint low-value questions and queries that would be better answered via self-service or other forms of automation like AI chatbots. 

Calls Per Agent

The average number of calls that an agent answers per hour. It is important to note that when a company implements call diversion and call deflection programs, average contacts per period often drop because simple, straightforward tasks no longer routinely flow to agents. Instead, agents are more focused on complex inquiries that often take longer to resolve. 

Call Queue 

The number and sequence of callers waiting to connect with a live person. Some companies alert customers to expected wait times and the number of people ahead of them in the queue. Others do not. Setting expectations can lower customer frustration and induce more users to choose a self-service solution versus waiting for live help. 

Chat Bot

A computer program that simulates live agent interactions via internet messaging. Chatbots are a popular strategy for call diversion and call deflection. 

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Quantitative analysis of the economic value of a business initiative. Cost-benefit analysis for call diversion and call deflection initiatives usually shows enormous financial benefits versus routing all calls to live agents, whether through voice, chat, or SMS. 

Cost Per Call 

The average cost of delivering a live agent call. Dall diversion and call deflection route would-be live calls to more cost-effective channels that can also improve customer satisfaction via speed to answers and user-centered design. 

Customer-Centricity

A strategic focus on the needs of individual prospects and buyers. Customer-centricity is relevant to digital self-service and automation because customers often prefer DIY solutions over waiting for an agent or visiting a retail location.

Customer Effort Score

A customer satisfaction survey used to determine whether the organization made it easy for them to handle their issue. CES data can help prioritize call diversion and call deflection initiatives and to assess the quality of the customer experience delivered by the digital self-service or AI-based call diversion and call deflection tactic. 

Customer Journey

The entirety of customer experiences with a brand. Call diversion and call deflection can enhance the customer journey by helping people resolve issues and get answers in faster and more convenient ways. 

Customer Journey Mapping

A customer journey map depicts the various touchpoints and steps in a customer interaction with a brand. Using a customer journey map can help CX leaders identify opportunities to divert or deflect low-value agent and retail interactions to more satisfying and less expensive channels.

Customer Satisfaction

The degree to which a customer is satisfied or pleased with their interactions with a company. Call diversion and call deflection should never diminish customer satisfaction and may actually increase it by delivering better experiences that customers want. 

Customer Satisfaction Score 

A numerical measure of how a customer is satisfied with their company interaction(s). Call diversion and call deflection should never diminish customer satisfaction scores and may actually increase them by delivering better experiences that customers want. 

CX Automation

Customer experience automation refers to technology and experiences that enable customers to get answers to their concerns and queries without human assistance or which simplify customer service experiences by automating process steps and integrations with existing company processes and experiences

Delay Time

A measure of the time incoming call customers must wait before speaking with an agent on a call center interaction. Call diversion and call deflection should ideally reduce delay time by diverting many low-value customer requests to self-service experiences for prompt resolution. 

Digital CX

A broad term used to describe digitally provided customer experiences. Many call diversion and deflection programs will involve digital CX

Digital Self-Service

The use of digital technology to give customers a means of resolving their issues without human assistance. Digital self-service experiences are the keystone of any scalable and effective call diversion and call deflection program strategy. They also enable the digitization of pdf and paper-based processes, and addressing disjointed infrastructure

FICX

The industry-leading platform provider for delivering digital self-service experiences 10X faster than traditional custom development. 

Grade of Service (GOS)

A measurement of how many calls are answered and how many are abandoned, expressed as a percentage. GOS scores help innovation teams underscore the need for effective call diversion and call deflection plans. Low GOS scores signal that many calls go unanswered, a consistently frustrating experience for customers. Call diversion and call deflection should have a strong material impact on GOS. 

Inbound Calls

Customer initiated contacts for a company. Call diversion and call deflection can redirect a percentage of inbound traffic to more satisfying and less expensive service channels like digital self-service or chatbots. 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

An automated retrieval and processing device that provides information and directs callers to information and issue resolution methods. Many companies focus first on call diversion and call deflection tactics that redirect customers via the IVR, though a sound diversion and deflection strategy should also exploit opportunities to divert calls before they are initiated. 

Live Chat

AN increasingly popular method of providing customer service in which customers engage via a text interface with an agent. Because agents can respond to multiple queries simultaneously and do not require phone connections, live chat can be a cost-effective alternative to phone conversations – a form of call deflection. Generally, however, people confine the use of the terms call diversion and call deflection to automated and self-service solutions versus more efficient live support channels.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS is a metric based on a survey that asks customers how likely they are to recommend a brand to friends and colleagues. It is generally delivered on a 1-10 scale. Companies want the maximum number of responses to fall in the 9-10 range. Typically, scores below 7 are a worrying indicator of fundamental problems in the customer experience. In the context of call diversion and deflection, NPS scores indicate the quality of experience delivered via automated channels. Low NPS may also signal the need for additional call deflection or diversion if interactions with live agents are harming customer satisfaction scores. 

No-Code CX

No-Code CX refers to digital customer experiences developed without developer team coding. No-code makes it far faster and easier to develop call diversion and call deflection programs and tactics. 

Omnichannel

In the context of customer experience, Omnichannel refers to the ability to deliver a consistent and pleasing customer interaction through any touchpoint or device. Omnichannel strategies should also enable customers to migrate across channels during their journey and not have to begin a process again. Call diversion and call deflection are most effective at accelerating digital adoption when delivered via omnichannel toolsets. They ensure the maximum number of people use them and can complete their tasks with them. Leveraging the capabilities of a mobile phone is generally an important part of a digital self-service and call deflection strategy.

Quality Assurance

In call diversion and call deflection, quality assurance refers to the quality of the customer experience provided by the call diversion tactic. Digital teams use this data to ensure that their digital experience alternatives deliver strong customer experiences. High-quality experiences have strong uptake and high completion and resolution rates. 

Queue

The sequence of people waiting for customer support or sales team interaction. Long queues indicate that people must wait longer for support and hold the potential for driving down customer satisfaction rates. Effective call diversion and call deflection can help reduce the queue by removing some low-value interactions and redirecting those users to self-service or AI-centric experiences, especially experiences delivered on a cell phone. 

Recorded Announcement

An announcement, usually delivered before a live customer interaction, designed to communicate some important or essential information to the caller. Recorded announcements can help divert or deflect calls within an IVR experience. 

Response Time

The amount of time it takes for a company to respond to an end user customer request or message. Long or growing response times indicate that call diversion and call deflection may help boost customer satisfaction by reducing the pressure on the call center, and shortening wait times. 

Retention Rate

The percentage of one-time purchasers who continue to purchase/use a company’s products(s) or service(s). High retention rates are a good indicator of a p[ositive customer experience. In call diversion and call deflection, retention rates should be unaffected by, or increased by, deployed digital self-service experiences. 

Self-Service

A service approach that enables customers to answer their own questions and resolve their own issues without live assistance. Self-service is the cornerstone of any call deflection or diversion strategy. 

Service Quality

The extent to which a service approach fully satisfies the customer. Call diversion and call deflection success requires that the alternative service experiences offered can deliver a high-quality experience to users consistently.

Speed Of Answer

The time it takes for a customer to have their question or need answered. Call diversion and call deflection strategies are most successful when they enable customers to meet their information and other needs more quickly and thoroughly than via live support. 

Virtual Agents

Using artificial intelligence, online animated characters hold conversations with customers to help them resolve their concerns and issues. Virtual agents can be an effective call diversion and call deflection strategy if they can address customer queries quickly and flexibly. Failing that, they should enable the customer to seek live assistance quickly. 

Visual IVR

A technology that enables customers to shift from an audio experience to a visual application to complete specific customer service tasks. Typically, Visual IVR is provided as an option to people who call for customer support. Users opt-in to receive an SMS or messaging app link on their smartphones. When they click the link, they are redirected to a web application that enables them to perform a specific tasks.

We hope you found this call diversion and deflection glossary useful. 


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