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The Ultimate List of Customer Service Terms You Need to Know

Customer service has its own lingo including dozens of distinct customer service terms.

The more of those customer service terms you know, the easier it’ll be to communicate clearly about the challenges your team faces. Together, you can strive toward improvement.

Let’s look at some of the top customer service terms you should know.

customer service terms to know


Agents are customer service representatives (also called CSRs) who handle direct interactions with customers. They troubleshoot problems from within your call or contact center, finding solutions and helping customers move forward.

Agent Empowerment

Agent empowerment refers to agents’ overall level of awareness, engagement, and morale in the workplace. Having the tools, training, feedback, and support they need will allow agents to feel more empowered – and achieve more during their day.

Agent Lifecycle

The agent lifecycle is the complete spectrum of interactions a customer support agent has with a brand, from recruitment through to termination. It begins with the sourcing process and whether it is aligned with goals. Most of the lifecycle is spent evaluating and improving daily performance.


defining top customer service terms

Benchmarking is measuring your performance, individually or as an organization, against an aspirational standard. That could be competitors or industry averages. It can also be used to see growth compared to past performance. It’s a central part of process improvement.

Big Data

Big data is all the data generated by customer interactions with your brand, as well as the process of making sense of it. It used to refer only to a high volume and velocity of data. Most large enterprises now crunch thousands or millions of interactions a day, which definitely qualifies.

Business Rules

Business rules are the specific automation rules an enterprise uses to manage various functions. For example, your email marketing campaigns all have business rules. Business rules can also apply to how a customer service call is routed, responded to, and resolved.

Call Center

A call center is a type of contact center that focuses on handling a high volume of phone calls. On the other hand, a contact center may be devoted to all kinds of omni-channel customer service. Call centers can be inbound service departments or outbound sales departments.


Customer churn happens when an existing customer ceases doing business with a company. Your churn rate is a measure of the percentage of customers your business loses this way over a certain period of time. Poor customer service is a major contributor to churn.


Coaching is where the rubber meets the road on your talent development program for agents. Coaching can take the form of feedback, one-on-one meetings, and contextual lessons delivered within the call management system itself. Good coaching is a predictor of performance gains.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

what is a customer satisfaction score

CSAT is one of the most basic metrics customer service teams need to track and grow. It is the average score customers give to a specific interaction with your brand.

Customer Experience

Customer experience has a lot of competing definitions, but you can think of it as the sum of feelings, beliefs, and expectations a customer develops about your brand thanks to all his or her interactions with your company. Each individual can be said to have a different customer experience based on which aspects of the enterprise they’ve interacted with and how well those performed.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

LTV is the revenue impact of a single customer over their entire history (and projected future) interactions with the brand. Customer service teams support higher LTV by making sure product glitches don’t end a customer relationship. They can also do cross-selling and upselling.

First Call Resolution (FCR)

First call resolution (usually expressed as a percentage or ratio) is when a customer’s question or complain is successfully dealt with the first time he or she makes contact. FCR is considered a vital sign of good customer service. It demonstrates that reps have the knowledge they need.

First Reply Time

how long should it take to reply to a customer

First Reply Time is the time that elapses – hopefully in minutes or seconds – between the point when a support ticket is created and the point when an agent responds. A low first reply time makes a strong early impression with a customer who might already be frustrated.

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is an online database of information support agents can look up to find ready resources for solving particular problems. That can include complete answers for troubleshooting technical issues. You can also develop customer-facing knowledge bases.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS is a score that shows how likely it is a customer would recommend your business to a friend or colleague. NPS is collected on a scale from 1-10, where those who indicate a score of 9 or 10 are considered promoters and those with a score of 6 or less are detractors.


Omni-channel is a cross-channel approach to providing service and support. In this strategy, multiple channels operate at the same time and interact to create a seamless experience. In support, this can include chat, email, social media, and much more.

SLA (Service Level Agreement)

A Service Level Agreement defines the level of service a customer can expect from a vendor, which can be external or internal. A customer service SLA can specify the team will reach and maintain particular metrics or a certain performance level a given percentage of the time.

Support Ticket

A support ticket is where all the action is. It provides the basic documentation of a customer problem, all the steps taken to resolve it, who took those steps, and when. It captures all the details that can be held onto for future reference once the ticket is closed.

Ticket Routing

Ticket routing is the process of choosing which agent will handle a given request. The selection can be based on seniority, skill level, the workload of individual agents, or the priority level of the ticket. The key: Each agent should have the resources to handle every request received.

What are your favorite customer service terms? Tell us below.

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Rob Steffens

Rob Steffens

I am the Director of Sales & Marketing here at Bluleadz. I'm a recent newlywed who enjoys spending time with my wife vegging out and binging our favorite shows or getting some exercise on the Racquetball court.