The Ultimate Glossary for Coaching and Training in Contact Centers

Aug 17, 2020 3:34:25 PM

Did you know that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience? That’s right. This stat is just one of many that validates the importance of great customer service. So what can a contact center do to help ensure all customer interactions are great? T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G. After all,  better trained agents provide better customer service, and training gives agents a baseline to do their jobs well. This glossary dives into all the key words and phrases associated with the wonderful world of contact center coaching and training.

1:1 Meetings

1:1 meetings create an opportunity for agents to receive feedback on their customer interactions from their managers. These meetings also give agents a chance to share their feelings and goals. Establishing relationships between agents and managers is an important part of creating a positive workplace.

Active Mode Learning

This is the method during which agents are active participants in the learning process versus sitting and passively receiving information from an expert. Can be conducted via small writing, discussions, problem solving, etc.


See KPIs.

Blended Training

Training via both in-person and online methods. 

Call Handling Analysis

A way  to measure the quality of handling of calls by the agents.

Call Recording
A technology that enables call centers to capture and record customer and agent phone interactions. Callers must be alerted prior to the recording of calls. Supervisors can annotate recorded calls to help agents identify ways to improve his/her abilities, and to assist in quality control.

Call Routing

The process of routing calls to agents based on training, skills, and knowledge to assist a customer in order to help create the most positive customer experiences. Call routing may also identify high-value callers and route them to a shorter queue or to the most proficient agents.

Chat Messages

A way for agents and supervisors to communicate while agents are engaging with a customer. Can enable real-time coaching, possibly reduce hold times, and allow managers to help agents create the best possible customer experience. Allows agents and supervisors to communicate during a contact. 

Celebrating Wins

A way for contact center managers to improve agent morale and create real-time coaching opportunities. Managers should highlight specific actions versus simply saying, “Great job.” 


The process of providing feedback and direction to help agents learn how to best improve skills and create exceptional customer experiences. Usually conducted 1:1 and on-the-job versus in a classroom training scenario. Also, supervisors may coach in real-time using the Monitor/Whisper/Barge functionality that lets supervisors listen to an in-progress call or chat, make suggestions that are only heard/seen by the agent, and then “barge” into the customer interaction if needed.


A business strategy during which the customer’s needs and experience are prioritized.  Savvy contact centers know a customer-centric strategy is achieved via continuous agent training and coaching.

Customer Experience (CX)

CX is the culmination of a brand interaction and spans the full agent-customer interaction from start to finish. The CX is greatly enhanced by the tools, technology, and support provided to agents.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The strategy a brand uses to manage and analyze the interactions it has with customers, including past, present, and future customers, in order to create the most successful business possible. It is a broad term that takes into account people, processes, and technology that relate to customer acquisition, retention, customer records and the CX overall. 

CRM Software

The specific technology used by a contact center to track and manage an agent’s interactions with customers.

Customer Satisfaction Score

The average score of customers based on how they feel about a brand. Often abbreviated as CSAT. Used as insight to help customer service teams make improvements.

Employee Experience (EX)

A positive EX leads to happy, engaged, and motivated employees and agents, which  leads to happier customers. A strong EX includes consistent training, coaching, and feedback that empowers agents to improve, grow, and develop in their careers and as service professionals.


Gamification is the application of typical game-play elements (point scoring, competition with other players, etc.) to another discipline, like a training program. Used in the contact center, it’s a way to make learning fun and engaging, to bolster productivity, and encourage agents to help meet targets for metrics.

Journey Map

A visual representation of a customer’s journey. Can be used as a tool to develop strategies for improving customers’ end-to-end experiences by identifying areas where enhanced agent training might improve the journey. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A KPI is a metric used to measure performance. Contact Centers identify relevant KPIs and then routinely assess these KPIs to ensure they are on target to meet their goals.

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is information, questions and answers, tutorials, and the like, which can be accessed by customers to help them obtain information before or instead of contacting a customer service agent. 

Onsite Training

Training is conducted in-person in a classroom setting, small groups, or one-to-one basis. 

Online Training

Can be used as a compliment to onsite training or can be a standalone initiative that gives agents that ability to take part in training anytime, anywhere. 

Quality Assurance

Activities put in place by a company or organization to ensure the quality of agents’ interactions with customers are achieved.

Quality Management

The act of ensuring that all customer and agent interactions are monitored and evaluated to ensure that performance metrics are met and customers receive great service.

Quality Monitoring

The process of ensuring that all calls and interactions with a customer meet the contact center’s standards. 

Recorded Call Analysis

Reviewing calls to identify key characteristics of good and bad performance.

Screen Recording

The act of capturing an agent’s screen during an interaction with a customer. Screen Recording brings a visual component to training and coaching to help supervisors work with agents to identify ways to improve. Screen recording in conjunction with voice recording are important components of quality management.


Agents can be given a script to help them manage customer interactions. The intent of scripting is to optimize workflow, help maintain information consistency, and enable agents to quickly help customers.  


A method of helping agents identify ways they can improve by analyzing their own interactions. Self-coaching trains agents to listen to themselves as they talk and to self-correct.


Enables agents to practice their customer service abilities without actually interacting with a live customer. 

Soft Skill Training

Training on “soft” skills, which often include things like tone of voice, attitude, empathy, ability to gauge a customer’s emotions. 

Speech Analytics

Technology used to record and analyze conversations between agents and customers and used to identify areas for improvement for agents. It can also be used to help identify what needs to be done to resolve a customer’s issue. Speech analytics essentially enable contact center managers to “listen” to all calls by searching for keywords and phrases, and filtering out the calls that meet (or miss) that criteria. 

Workforce Management (WFM)

WFM is a way for contact centers to properly allocate resources and agents to ensure that customer needs are being met and consistent customer service is always being provided. WFM solutions enable managers to create schedules, and then track agent adherence to their schedules.

Workforce Optimization (WFO)

WFO is a practice used in call centers to properly train, schedule, monitor, coach, evaluate, reward, and engage agents in order to ensure customer satisfaction levels remain high. An essential component of WFO is a WFM solution.

Liz Cahill

Written by Liz Cahill

Recognized as one of PR Week's “Ten Rising Stars” in 2005, Liz Cahill has been working in the public relations industry for more than two decades with a focus on technology and lifestyle. During this time, Cahill has partnered with clients big and small, working on strategy development, message creation, media outreach, social media programming, event planning, ghostwriting, and pretty much anything else her clients throw at her. Originally a “Jersey girl,” Cahill has lived in Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles. She currently resides outside of LA with her husband, daughter and twin sons.