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Contact Center Slang – You Said What? – Part 3

After attending two fantastic events last month, Frost & Sullivan Customer Contact East and SOCAP (Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals) it was very apparent that online chat, while the buzz three or four years ago, is now getting budget for implementation.

As the third installment of my Contact Center Slang series, here is a list of 10 commonly used chat phrases (plus one bonus), that will help you make sense of your first live chat deployment reports.


  • This is where it all starts out.  At the top are all your website visitors.
  • With the proper technology tool, you can begin gathering information about these visitors even before they get to your site.
  • The goal is to rank this funnel and choose the right Hot Leads to chat with.

Hot Lead

  • Not to be confused with a cold lead.
  • This is who you want to proactively chat with.
  • For example, imagine you are at a store and you see all these visitors walking around – that is your Funnel. Cold leads are people who are window shopping, Hot Leads are those people who have a piece of clothing and are waiting for a change room.  They may buy on their own (Self Service), but with a little help you can increase that chance.

Proactive Chat

  • Once a Hot Lead has been determined, you can send a chat invite out to the browser, proactively.  Note that depending on your technology provider this can be seamless, non-invasive, and aesthetically pleasing.

Self Service

  • The population of visitors on your site that you don’t chat with, and in a sales environment still checkout and purchase.
  • For example, these are the same people that use self checkout at the grocery store, they know what they want. They want to get in and get out as quickly as possible.

AHT – Average Handle Time

  • The sum of the ART, and the visitor’s response time, go into the average handle time of the chat.  Depending on the nature of the chat (sales, service, technical, etc.), there are benchmarks based on best practices for AHT.
  • A lower AHT increases the CPOH.

CPOH – Chats per Online Hour

  • The number of chats that the agent completes in one hour.  This is typically averaged over the period (day/week/month) for a more representative reading.

ART - Average Response Time

  • The average time it takes the agent to respond to the visitor.
  • Since concurrency is a major benefit of chat, this metric should be watched closely to ensure a positive visitor experience.
  • Best practice typically 30-40 seconds, anything higher will affect CSAT.

CSAT – Customer Satisfaction

  • Based on the exit survey, this tells you how well the chat went.
  • Typically CSAT scores for chat are higher than voice, because the customer is being served in the channel of their choice, which naturally dispositions them respond positively.


  • The number of chats that your agent is taking simultaneously.
  • Best practice is three, but depending on the deployment other concurrency levels may be appropriate.

Adjusted Time Online

  • The sum of online time, and the Away Time While Chatting. This is the productive time for your agents which is then divided by the total chats, to the CPOH.

Away Time While Chatting

  • The time your agent is chatting but not taking on any new chats.
  • Because of concurrency the agent must go to away to let their concurrent chats end.

I hope that this helps clarify the wold online chat. Check out my previous installments of Contact Center Slang for more industry lingo!

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