The complete 'Outsourcing' Glossary

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Abandonment Rate

Abandoned calls are categorized as missed calls and typically occur when callers disconnect while waiting in a call queue or when reaching out outside of business hours. It is a critical KPI for call centers, and it's calculated by dividing the number of inbound calls that have been abandoned (where the caller hangs up before an agent can answer) by the total number of inbound calls.

Absenteism Rate

The absence rate is a measure of the percentage of time that agents are unavailable for work, excluding periods such as vacations, bank holidays, and granted days off. It is calculated by dividing the total hours of absence by the total hours that were originally planned or scheduled for work.

Average First Response Time

The average first response time refers to the typical duration it takes for a customer service team to send the initial response to a customer following the receipt of a request or inquiry. You can determine your average First Response Time by dividing the total sum of first response times by the number of resolved tickets.

Average Handle Time (AHT):

Average Handle Time is a metric that indicates the typical duration of customer contact during a call, and it serves as a common measure to evaluate both the efficiency of an agent and the overall performance of a customer service organization. It's essential to recognize that this Key Performance Indicator (KPI) involves a delicate balance between agent efficiency, where a lower AHT is desirable, and maintaining the quality of customer interactions, which might lead to a higher AHT.



Ticket Backlog pertains to customer support requests that have not been resolved within a specific time period. These unresolved tickets exceed the usual response time, and this delay may be attributed to factors such as team member performance, the volume of tickets, and/or dependencies and complexities that demand extra time for resolution.

Back office support

Back Office Support functions refer to roles that are not directly associated with customer support but play a crucial role in elevating the overall customer experience. Examples of Back-office Support provided by The Nest to its clients encompass tasks such as content moderation, data entry, eCommerce tagging, writing, content creation, research, fraud prevention, application verification, claims processing, mediation, and more. Although these Back Office Support roles may not immediately seem linked to the customer experience, The Nest strongly contends otherwise. We believe that each customer interaction should be a source of delight, characterized by captivating visuals, an outstanding website user experience, and precise data. The emphasis goes beyond reactive problem-solving for client queries; The Nest actively strives to offer a proactive, exceptional experience, aiming to cultivate brand evangelists.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) entails the delegation of specific business operations and responsibilities to an external third-party service provider. An organization usually engages in contractual agreements with another business for services when it recognizes a process essential for its operations but not integral to its core value proposition. This undertaking necessitates a thorough comprehension of the organization's processes and robust business process management. There are many types of services a business can outsource such as: sales, customer support, accounting, KYC and more!


Call abandonment rate

The call abandonment rate is the proportion of callers who disconnect or hang up before they have the opportunity to speak with a customer service representative.

Chat Support

Chat support is a form of real-time messaging commonly found on a company's website or application, typically in the form of a pop-up dialogue box.

Content Moderation

Content moderation entails the supervision of user-generated submissions to ensure they adhere to predefined guidelines and maintain a reasonable and appropriate standard. This involves the removal of inappropriate or offensive content and the enforcement of community guidelines and terms of service. Simply put, when a user submits content to a website, that content undergoes a screening process, known as moderation, to verify compliance with the website's regulations and to ensure it is not illegal, inappropriate, or harassing.

Customer Care

It’s the process of building an emotional bond with customers. Customer care is dedicated to ensuring a positive and seamless customer experience at every stage—prior to, during, and following a purchase. Customer care holds significance as it fosters a unique connection between satisfied customers and a brand. Effective customer interactions, where individuals feel genuinely valued and heard, define the hallmark of superior customer service. It involves many things, from listening to customer neeeds, being responsive and helpful, responding in a timely manner, going above and beong to ensure satisfaction.

Customer Centric

Customer centricity places the customer at the core of all choices regarding product, service, and experience delivery, aiming to foster customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

Customer Onboarding

Customer onboarding is the set of steps that new users follow to configure and begin using your product. At the inception of their journey, customer onboarding plays a pivotal role in shaping the entire relationship between individuals and your product or company. The effectiveness of this process significantly influences whether a customer becomes a long-term user or churns after a brief period. When executed adeptly, onboarding positions customers for success and vividly illustrates the value of your product. Conversely, a subpar onboarding experience may leave customers questioning their initial decision to sign up.

Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSAT)

CSAT, or Customer Satisfaction Score, is a widely used metric that measures the level of satisfaction customers have with a company's products or services.


Data Warehouse

A Data Warehouse is a centralized repository where a business stores, organizes, and manages its electronic information.

Domestic Outsourcing

Domestic Outsourcing is the practice of engaging a third-party vendor to provide services within the same country as the contracting or purchasing business.


Email Support

Email Support is an asynchronous communication channel via email employed to address customer inquiries, issues, and queries related to a product or service.

Employee Satisfaction (ESAT)

Employee Satisfaction (ESAT) is a method for gauging the level of contentment and happiness among employees in their roles and with their organization.


Escalation is a predefined process triggered by established criteria that shifts a customer's complaint, challenge, or concern to a higher-level representative or to an associated procedure.


First Contact Resolution (FCR)

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is achieved when a customer's questions and concerns are entirely resolved during their initial contact with no need for subsequent follow-up interactions.

First Response Time (FRT)

First Response Time (FRT) is the duration that transpires between a customer creating a support ticket and the moment an agent provides the initial response to it.

Full-Time Employee (FTE)

A full-time employee is a team member whose weekly work hours collectively meet or exceed the number of hours specified by the business as the standard for full-time employment.



Gamification involves the transformation of an activity, task, or project into an experience that resembles or incorporates elements of a game.


HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

In the context of medical billing outsourcing, HIPAA refers to compliance with the regulations set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act safeguards the confidentiality of patients' personal information when healthcare facilities subcontract billing and invoicing processes to third-party companies.


Home-shoring is a practice that is growing in popularity and involves the outsourcing of various functions to remote workers who work from their homes. These remote workers can be located within the same country as the company or overseas.


In-App Support

In-App Support is a communication delivery method in which the user receives a response from the business within the same communication channel they are currently using, typically within the application or platform they are interacting with.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) denotes an automated telephony menu that allows callers to interact with it either through their device's keypad or by using voice commands. The initial audio introduction in an IVR system is typically pre-recorded or generated to provide guidance, direction, or automatic call routing without the need for a live operator.


Knowledge Base

A Knowledge Base, also known as a Knowledge Management System (KMS), is a tool that stores a business's information, allowing users to access it for the purpose of finding answers to their questions. It includes a collection of published guides, answers to frequently asked questions and more with the goal of providing customers and employees with helpful informations.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is a systematic process designed to assist teams in the acquisition, organization, and dissemination of information. Its significance lies in enhancing collaboration, fostering efficiency, and leveraging collective intelligence within an organization. The impact of knowledge management is profound, influencing both customer and agent satisfaction, bolstering productivity, and contributing to overall profitability. Recognizing these critical outcomes, companies are compelled to adopt systematic approaches for the collection and dissemination of institutional information. A well-structured knowledge management system becomes indispensable for organizations aiming to optimize their operations and ensure positive outcomes in customer interactions and internal processes.


Learning Management System (LMS)

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application that provides educational resources and tools to support learning, whether it's conducted online or offline.

Live Chat Support

Live chat support is a method for customers to receive assistance by means of real-time messaging platforms.


Multi-Channel Support

Multi-Channel Support in a business context involves the utilization of two or more distinct support channels to engage in communication with customers (e.g. chat, email, voice...).


Multi-shoring is a strategy typically employed by large companies where various business functions are conducted in multiple locations. This approach can provide additional advantages, such as ensuring business continuity in the event of unforeseen disruptions or harnessing the local knowledge and unique skills of personnel in different global regions.


Nearshore Outsourcing

Nearshore Outsourcing is a business practice in which a third-party supplier is contracted to perform work in a country that is geographically close to the location of the hiring company. This proximity often offers benefits in terms of time zones, cultural alignment, and ease of collaboration.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer satisfaction metric that categorizes customers into three groups: Promoters, who enthusiastically endorse a company's products or services; Passives, who are moderately satisfied but less loyal; and Detractors, who express dissatisfaction. NPS is calculated based on this classification, offering a holistic assessment of customer sentiment.


Occupancy Rate

The occupancy rate is typically expressed as a percentage and represents the amount of time an agent spends actively engaged in handling contacts, which includes time spent on incoming calls, wrap-up tasks, and outbound calls. It is a measure of the portion of an agent's work hours that are dedicated to working on cases out of their total working time.

Offshore Outsourcing

Offshore outsourcing is a business practice where a third-party supplier is contracted to provide services in a different country, often one located at a significant geographic distance from the hiring company's home country.

Omnichannel Support

Omnichannel Support is a customer service approach that uses multiple channels for consistent customer interaction. Adopting an omnichannel approach to customer experience (CX) involves breaking down siloed conversations by consolidating various communication channels. This integration pools customer context from diverse channels into a unified, centralized source of truth. This strategic alignment empowers teams to access the necessary customer information seamlessly, irrespective of the specific channel in use, ensuring a more coherent and efficient customer engagement process.

Onshore Outsourcing

Onshore outsourcing, also referred to as domestic outsourcing, involves engaging a third-party supplier to provide services within the same country as the hiring business.

Operations Managers (OMs)

Operations Managers are individuals who oversee and guide operational teams, providing support and management to ensure the smooth functioning of processes.


Personalized Customer Service

Personalized customer service is a form of customer support that prioritizes tailoring interactions and assistance to align with each customer's distinct preferences and needs. By crafting unique experiences for customers, it helps them feel personally recognized and understood. To deliver personalized service, companies gather and document customer data and interactions. This information is then utilized to cater to each consumer's specific preferences. Examples of personalized customer service include communicating with customers through their preferred channels and leveraging customer data to offer immediate and relevant product recommendations or support resolutions. This individualized approach not only enhances the customer experience but also strengthens the connection between customers and the brand.

PCI Compliance (Payment Card Industry Compliance)

PCI Compliance is a security framework established to guarantee that all businesses handling credit card information maintain the security and confidentiality of that data. It involves adhering to a set of standards and protocols to protect sensitive payment card information from unauthorized access and potential breaches.

Proactive Support

Proactive support is a customer service strategy that involves addressing customer needs before they have a chance to raise an issue or concern. This approach can be achieved both actively through agent interactions and passively through self-service options like chat widgets or comprehensive help centers. It aims to enhance the customer experience by being one step ahead in providing assistance.


Quality Assurance (QA) Program

A quality assurance program is a systematic process that ensures that business outcomes are in line with the organization's objectives. It establishes performance benchmarks to enhance communication consistency and customer experiences. A support team needs to be well-versed in these standards. You can find more information on creating a successful QA program in our guide.

Queue Management

Queue management involves the optimization of queues to enhance both customer response time and team efficiency. This process aims to streamline the waiting experience for customers and ensure that teams handle requests promptly and effectively.


Resolution Time

Resolution time is the duration required for a support agent to successfully resolve a customer's inquiry or issue.


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a formalized agreement between a service provider and an end user, explicitly outlining and defining the expected level of service. At The Nest, our commitment to excellence goes beyond conventional SLAs. We align our Service Level Agreements with our clients' key objectives, adhering to industry-recognized practices and processes for quality assurance. However, we don't simply stop at meeting these standards; we strive to exceed expectations. As genuine partners to our clients, we go above and beyond traditional SLAs and embrace innovative technologies to elevate the quality of our services.

Self-Service Portal

A self-service portal is a webpage that enables customers to carry out transactions and tasks without the need for assistance from a customer service representative.

Service Quality Assurance

Customer service quality assurance (QA) is the practice of evaluating customer service interactions with the aim of ensuring and delivering top-notch support.

Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation is a practice that assists companies in handling varying workloads and additional projects by bringing in external hires who work in-house. This approach helps companies save on expenses associated with recruitment, administrative tasks, payroll, and other onboarding processes, as the outsourcing company provides its own staff to complement the in-house team.

Support Ticket

A support ticket is a formal service request submitted by an end user or customer, which is received and managed through a ticketing system. In many cases, emails are commonly referred to as support tickets when they serve as a means for customers to request assistance or report issues.

Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation is a practice that assists companies in handling varying workloads and additional projects by bringing in external hires who work in-house. This approach helps companies save on expenses associated with recruitment, administrative tasks, payroll, and other onboarding processes, as the outsourcing company provides its own staff to complement the in-house team.


Ticketing Systems

Ticketing systems are technological tools that receive service requests from customers and generate service tickets as reference points for those submissions. These systems are designed to streamline the management and tracking of customer inquiries, helping support teams efficiently handle and resolve issues.

Time to First Response

Time to First Response is a metric that measures the duration between a customer's initial inquiry and the first response provided by a company. This metric assesses the speed and efficiency of a company's initial engagement with a customer request or inquiry.


Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants, commonly known as VAs, are remote workers contracted to provide businesses with administrative and technical support. Companies opt to hire virtual assistants to enhance operational efficiency, streamline data management, and reduce hiring expenses, as they work from a remote location and are typically contracted on a flexible basis.

Voice of the Customer (VoC)

The Voice of the Customer, often abbreviated as VoC, encapsulates a compilation of a customer's opinions, preferences, and grievances regarding a company's product or services. The VoC is a valuable resource used to inform and enhance a company's practices, products, and services by gaining insights from customer feedback.

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