CX Glossary: Customer Experience Terms to Know
The customer experience (CX) has never been more critical to both companies and their stakeholders. With Mosaicx, Intrado delivers contact center automation that enables businesses to personalize interactions with their customers and maximize ROI on their customer service investments.
But, as customer preferences change, the technology used to meet stakeholder needs does too. This CX glossary lists many of the terms that impact customers and power contact center technology in one easy-to-access location. It covers relevant and industry-specific CX terminology and definitions, from intelligent virtual agents (IVA) to conversational AI and natural language processing (NLP).
AI chatbots are advanced chatbots that simulate near-human interactions with customers through free-flowing conversations. They are able to do this by interpreting intent, language, and sentiment. These chatbots require programming and robust data to help them understand the context of interactions.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that allows a computer to perform tasks that require human intelligence and judgment. Mosaicx' Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA) uses AI to create personalized responses to customer inquiries.
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
Also known as “automatic call routing,” ACD is a telephony feature that automatically routes calls according to a predetermined set of rules. ACD connects callers to the most qualified agent for assistance, eliminating any need for constant transfers and extended hold times.
Automatic Call Routing
Business messaging refers to all of the channels a brand uses to facilitate customer interactions. These channels can include texting (SMS), email, telephone, social media, and over the top (OTT) channels like WhatsApp.
A call center is an office setting where agents handle blended (inbound and outbound) phone calls. Said calls are most often geared toward assisting with orders and providing customer service.
See Virtual Call Center.
Chatbots are message-based technologies that allow customers to text inquiries to a virtual agent and receive immediate help through contact center AI. Chatbots automate personalized experiences, connect meaningfully with customers, and deliver engaging content.
Cloud Contact Center
Cloud contact centers are contact centers that use software solutions to power customer support efforts. Hosted in the cloud, cloud contact centers are also known as remote contact centers because they allow agents to support customer service inquiries from different internet-connected locations.
Unlike a call center, a contact center allows customer service agents to communicate with customers on multiple channels, not just over the phone. These channels may include text messaging, email, chat, social media and more. Contact center infrastructure is either hosted at a business’ physical location (known as on-premise contact centers) or are hosted by a contact center provider in the cloud (known as cloud contact centers).
Contact Center Automation
Contact center automation can look different for businesses, but at its core, it involves automating customer support and assistance capabilities to streamline processes for customers and agents. Businesses can use contact center automation tools to automate a range of tasks. These tools use computerized processes and artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML).
Conversational AI is a form of intelligence that facilitates real-time, human-like communication between a person and a computer. It brings together a combination of technologies including natural language processing (NLP), AI, machine learning (ML), deep learning, and contextual awareness.
Conversational design focuses on examining human conversation to inform and improve interactions with digital systems so they feel more natural. It is used to improve conversational AI. Mosaicx uses conversational design to tailor natural dialogue to best meet stakeholder and company needs.
Customer Experience (CX)
Customer experience (CX) covers the whole customer journey, including the perceptions and feelings caused by customer service interactions. CX consists of all interactions a consumer has with the company. This includes communications through the contact center, in-store, marketing materials, and even while using a product or service. See also personalized customer experience.
Customer service relates to building and maintaining customer relationships after a product or service is sold. It’s any assistance or support a company provides to customers. Modern customer service is centered on customer experience and making sure a customer is satisfied with all interactions with a company. Many businesses handle customer service through contact center settings.
Inbound Contact Center
An inbound contact center is one piece of a communication infrastructure that receives all incoming communications from customers. Other contact centers can receive and make calls to customers and other users.
Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA)
An Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA), also known as a virtual agent, is an AI-enabled communication tool that generates personalized responses to users. IVAs are intuitive and can understand natural-language requests through natural language understanding (NLU) or natural language processing (NLP).
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Interactive voice response (IVR) is a communication tool that automates interactions and increases first-time resolutions through touch-tone key selections and voice commands. Callers interact with IVR through a series of menus that help the technology gather customer information and confirm intent, directing the customer to the most appropriate help for their needs. IVR does not use AI and is less sophisticated than an IVA.
Machine Learning (ML)
Machine learning (ML) is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that helps software better predict outcomes without being programmed to do so. Mosaicx uses ML to better serve customer needs by examining and applying historical customer data and trends.
Multichannel refers to using more than one channel to market your brand and communicate with customers and target audiences. These multiple channels are typically not innately integrated, but they can interact and be used in tandem. Channels can include email, phone calls, social media, texting (SMS), and over the top (OTT) platforms like WhatsApp. Multichannel is different from omnichannel.
Natural Language Interpretation (NLI)
Also known as natural language understanding (NLU), natural language interpretation (NLI) is a subtopic of natural language processing. It helps computers and machines learn based on written or spoken language.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of AI that helps computers understand, interpret, and manipulate human language. The technology’s use of AI allows it to interpret what a person says or types.
Natural Language Understanding (NLU)
Natural language understanding (NLU), also known as natural language interpretation, is a branch of AI that allows computers to comprehend human language without having to use pre-existing software. NLU allows intelligent virtual agents to better communicate with customers. NLU and NLP are learning algorithms that try to identify and grasp various patterns and make decisions or predictions independently, relying on collected data and sometimes human input.
Next Best Action
Next best action refers to a customer service approach where an intelligent virtual agent interacts with a customer, considers all potential actions for the interaction, and then chooses the best one.
Omnichannel refers to the integration of all channels across the customer experience. Omnichannel customer experience allows customers to pick up where they left off on one channel and continue their journey on another channel. Omnichannel is different from multichannel.
Personalized Customer Experience
Personalized customer experience is when a brand provides a tailored and individual journey based on a customer's unique needs and preferences.
Textbots are "simple" AI chatbots that emulate human interaction via text inputs. The most common example is a “live” support chat that helps automate the first response for support requests. Textbots record critical information and provide instructions matching the detected case.
Virtual Call Center
A virtual call center is a hosted, cloud-based call center that supports call-based customer service inquiries. Unlike a virtual contact center, a virtual call center only supports calling. A virtual contact center supports multiple mediums.
Virtual Contact Center
A virtual contact center is similar to a virtual call center. However, it often has more sophisticated virtual agents that provide multichannel support.
A voicebot is an AI chatbot tool that uses IVR software to identify key markers in a caller’s speech. Using this information, the voicebot then responds with audio in near-human form.