Customer Service Definition & 50 Customer Support Terms

Customer Service Definition & 50 Customer Support Terms

logo Shubham Rajpara
December 17, 2020 | 14 Min Read

The Ultimate Customer Service Glossary. Get yourself helpdesk ready with these customer service terms and provide extraordinary customer support.

What is Customer Service?

How you treat your prospects and customers pre and post-sale is known as customer service. Customer service can include customer support, the user interface of your website or application, or discounts and coupons, among other things.

What is Customer Experience?

In simple terms, customer experience is how you make your prospect or customer field across their customer buying journey with your business.

Below are the customer service terms you should be accustomed to provide better customer support during the customer's journey as well as post the journey: 

50 Customer Service Terms One Must Learn and to Enhance Support Quality

Here is the 50 customer service terminology that you should know about.


1) Agents

Agents or customer support executives or customer service representatives (also called CSRs) are employees who indulge indirect interactions with your prospects and customers.

They will be the first responders in case any customer or a prospect faces any query or problem before purchase or even post-sale. How well you train your agents are will directly affect how good a customer service you deliver.


2) Agent Empowerment

Agent empowerment is a self-defining term that refers to a process of empowering sales and support agents with the needed tools, technology, and training.

Agent empowering leads to a higher level of awareness, engagement, and morale in your sales and support team. Not only will your sales and support team achieve more during the day, but it will also make your prospects and customers happier, leading to an enhanced customer experience.


3) Agent Lifecycle

The agent lifecycle is the total spectrum of association a customer support agent has with a business or a brand, from recruitment through to termination of employment. 


4) Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the process of tracking the performance of an individual or an organization against a set standard. This standard could be competitors or industry averages.

Benchmarking can be used to see growth compared to past performance, acting as a central part of process improvement.


5) Brand Experience

There is a subtle difference between customer experience and brand experience. Brand experience more intangible. Brand experience describes the way people experience and see your brand.

Your brand reflects your values, and the perception it creates is a part of the brand experience. 


6) B2B Customer Experience

In simple terms, B2B customer experience means the experience a B2B buyer has with your company brand while interacting with your brand or business. 


7) Customer Experience

An umbrella term for every business silo or service across the entire customer journey that has an effect on how a prospect or customer feels regarding a business.

Every prospective customer can have a different customer experience based on at which point in the customer journey they have interacted with your business. 


8) Customer-Centric

Customer-centric is an approach that all leading businesses have recently understood the value of and are adapting to, therefore.

Here all business activities and endeavors are designed, keeping in mind the customer and their needs and wants. 


9) Canned responses

Canned responses are also known as macros. They are standard responses to frequently asked questions recorded beforehand.

They are available for all support team members to use to save the time of all parties. However, if inefficiently used, they can prove frustrating to customers.


10) Customer Satisfaction Score

Customer satisfaction score is the most important and basic key performance index every business owner should track. It helps us know exactly how do the customers feel about our customer experience.

Customer satisfaction scores can be recorded in many ways by asking questions or asking for a rating. 


11) Customer Journey

The customer journey is called the sum total of all experiences a customer goes through while interacting with your brand and business. When we are talking about the customer journey, we are not looking at a single part of a transaction or experience, but the experience of a customer across all touchpoints. 

There are five phases of a customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy. 


12) Co-browsing

Co-browsing is the newest and the most potent technology when it comes to delivering a great digital customer experience. Co-browsing goes one step beyond traditional screen sharing. Here customers can give access to their screens to the support staff.

Agents can help customers make the purchase or guide them through the website. Customers can control the browser information they choose to share by blurring sensitive information. 


13) CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) stands for naming all the strategies and tactics, as well as the technologies that support in executing the said strategies and tactics.

Marketers need to use in order to sustain the relationship with their customers throughout the customer lifecycle.


14) Customer Churn Rate

Customer churn rate is the percentage of customers that stopped using your company's product or service during a certain period of time is known as customer churn rate.

Customer churn rate is calculated by dividing the number of customers lost during that time divided by the total number of customers starting from that period of time.

For instance, if you start your quarter with 500 customers and end at 475, your churn rate is 5% because you lost 5% of your customers. Every business should aim for a churn rate that is as close to 0% as possible.


15) Customer Retention

Customer retention, as the name suggests, means the method of retaining existing customers.

Customer retention is a number of acts that would give existing customers a lot of reasons to associate with your business for an extended period of time, like offering discounts, referral rewards, great customer experience, etc. 


16) Cross-selling

Cross-selling is an effective method done by sales agents to boost sales. It is the process of selling products or services to current customers that are related to the products or services they previously bought. 

For example, a customer service agent may recommend a pair of shoes to a customer, which they end up buying after purchasing denim jeans. 


17) Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is an ongoing continuous positive relationship between a customer and a business. It's what drives repeat purchases and prompts existing customers to choose your company over your competitor, offering similar products or services.

Customer loyalty majorly depends on customer experience and customer service.


18) CSAT

A company's average CSAT score reflects the percentage of satisfied customers with the company's products or services. 100% represents complete customer satisfaction.

Satisfaction (CSAT) is measured by dividing all the positive responses by the total number of responses and multiplying by 100. This results in your CSAT percent. For example, if you have 25 positive responses and a total of 50 responses, your CSAT would be 50%.

80% or above CSAT score should be the ideal.


19) Chatbot

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence-driven (AI) software widely used by customer support teams to assist them in automating high-frequency, everyday tasks like answering FAQs.

Chatbots can also route to subject matter experts in case they are faced with complex customer queries.



20) Cross Channel

Cross channel means when several different channels can be monitored and simultaneously looked at simultaneously.

Precisely speaking, a cross channel customer experience strategy would allow customers to cross customers as well as agents to crossover seamlessly across different communication channels like email, phone, or even offline store.


21) CLTV or customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value for CLTV is a very important metric that helps a business or a brand understand and measure the revenue a prospect or customer might bring or have brought over their entire purchase history or association with the brand or business. 

The longer a business is able to retain a customer and have them be loyal to the business, the more the customer lifetime value will be. 

This can be done by providing extraordinary customer experience, great customer support, and by also upselling, cross-selling, and providing referral bonuses or discounts. 


22) Downtime

Downtime is called the time period experienced by a customer when they are not able to use their product because of an ongoing problem or maintenance. 


23) Empathy

Empathy is a psychological ability to be able to understand and feel the emotions of the other person.

It is an important skill for every customer support executive for obvious reasons.


24) Escalation Management

The tickets that are difficult to be dealt with by a certain customer support agent, then that ticket is escalated and routed to the next person who will provide support.

Escalated tickets are often sent to management so they can de-escalate the situation.


25) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

An FAQ section is important for every online business aiming to deliver a great customer experience. FAQs are a compilation of the questions customers or prospects ask about your company, products, or service, with the answers to the questions.


26) FCR (First Call Resolution)

FCR, known as First Call Resolution, is usually expressed as a ratio or percentage. With the help of FCR, businesses can know how often is a customer's question or complaint successfully dealt with the very first time they make contact with the support team of the business. 

High first call resolution is considered to be an important sign of excellent customer service. It shows that reps have the needed knowledge regarding the product or service.


27) First Reply Time - Response Time

This is another interesting key performance index to be measured when it comes to online customer support. 

First reply time is the time period that passes between the point when a support ticket is generated to the point when an agent first responds to the customer. 

First reply time or response time should be as little as possible, ideally between a few seconds to a few hours. 

A lesser first reply time makes a good early impression on a customer who might already be frustrated.


28) First Contact Resolution Rate

This is similar to the definition of the resolution rate that was mentioned above. Still, the first contact resolution rate is a performance metric that measures how often support team members resolve an issue the first time it appears.

The higher the rate, the higher the customer satisfaction.


29) Help Desk

A help desk is a service designed to provide prospects and customers or end-users with support related to a business' products and services.

Businesses usually provide help desk support to their customers through various channels such as instant messaging, toll-free numbers, or email.


30) Journey Mapping

A journey map is a holistic visual representation of every single interaction a customer has with your business. The customer journey map aids businesses in understanding where do customers come from, when do they convert, and what it takes for them to make a purchase.

This helps them repurpose their customer experience strategy to convert more visitors effectively. 


31) Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

KPI stands for a key performance index. KPIs are metrics that businesses need to track to measure the growth of a company.

Important customer experience KPIs are resolution rate, customer value cycle, first contact resolution rate, etc. 


32) Knowledge base

A knowledge base is a virtual/online library of guides, how-tos, use cases, answers to FAQs, and other information that customers and prospects would most likely need and ask for to the support agents.

Having a knowledge base software can help sales and support staff look up to find these resources for solving particular problems as and when needed to share with the people.

These also include complete answers for troubleshooting technical issues. Agents can also edit or create such knowledge base articles in real-time. 


33) Live Chat

Live chat is a form of communication that is used between sales agents and prospective customers.

Live chat is extensively used in online shopping to deliver a great digital customer experience as it creates a more human connection while having a conversation without being in the same physical location. Live chat uses HD audio and video features. 


34) Multi-Channel

Multi-channel was the first kind of communication that became available when the internet started to become a part of the buyer's journey.

In this type of communication, customers are able to use multiple channels to communicate and purchase from a company like an email, In-person, or phone. Still, the channels are disconnected and completely separate.


35) NPS

NPS stands for Net Promoter Score. It is a score that helps businesses show how likely it is for their customer to recommend the product or service to a friend or colleague.

NPS is scored on a scale of 1 to 10, where the ones that indicate a score equal to 9 or 10 are called promoters, and those with a score of six or less are detractors.


36) Outsourcing

Outsourcing is the practice of organizations to hire off-shore remote workers to handle some of their business processes. Outsourcing is usually done to cut costs and to increase productivity.

For instance, having an outsourced customer service team in place off-shore (in a different time zone) can help you deliver a great customer experience round-the-clock.


37) Omni Channel

Omnichannel stands for something that exists on all channels online and even offline.

For instance, if a business wants to give a great omnichannel customer experience, it has to consider the quality of its customer experience across all online channels as well as in its physical stores. 


38) Onboarding

Onboarding is known as the process of getting a customer to start using a SaaS product.

Onboarding can also be used to name the process of educating a prospect or customer on a service or a product to deepen the relationship and increase engagement.


39) Product Feature

The features of the service of a product are known as product features.

They can be technical details and help the customer make the right purchase decisions easily. 


40) Personalization

Personalization is an important element in customer experience.

Every customer needs to feel heard and understood, and for that, giving them a personalized customer experience is very important. 

Such experiences also help you as a business and create a personal connection with each and every customer, which will then positively impact customer loyalty. 


41) Retention Rate

The percentage of customers that stick to your brand or business for a certain period of time is known as the retention rate. 

Here's how to calculate customer retention

 Retention Rate = ((E-N)/S) x 100

 E = The total Number of customers left at the end of the period.

 N = number of customers acquired during the beginning of the period.

 S = The total Number of customers at the start of the period.


42) Resolution Rate

The resolution rate is an important metric to understand how many support tickets get resolved by your customer support team from all the support tickets it receives. 

The higher the resolution rate means so will show the effectiveness of your customer support teams and their knowledge of your service or product and their ability to solve customers' problems.


43) SLA

SLA stands for a Sales and Marketing Service Level Agreement (SLA). It is a contract defining certain key performance metrics and the working relationship between the Sales and Marketing Team.

SLAs have become a common practice in majorly all companies, as they are an efficient way to have the sales and marketing teams closely knit and well-functioning. 


44) Support Ticket

The support ticket is a term made famous by support software to describe the interaction between customers and agents. When customers have issues with their products and reach out to the support team, a support ticket is issued or opened.

Service representatives respond to this ticket/conversation, and upon solving the issue, the ticket is called closed. 


45) Service Culture

Service culture is a philosophy that workplaces embody. It is an organizational culture where all employees prioritize customer service by default and act to provide it and understand how they can do it more successfully. 


46) Self-Service Portals

Self-service portals are digital online platforms that help customers with the power to access needed information and resolve queries on their own.

These portals can also help support agents find important information in a jiffy to share with customers. An example of a self-service portal is a knowledge base software. 


47) Self-Service Ratio

The self-service ratio is the percentage of people who view the self-service portal materials rather than going to the support agents.


48) Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

Subject matter experts are specific people in the customer support or sales team who have mastery over a particular product or service or over a particular aspect of a product or service.

When generic answers do not solve things, subject matter experts are put in the frontline to deal with these complex matters. 


49) Ticket Routing

The process of setting rules regarding how tickets are assigned to particular departments, agents, and function in customer support operations 

The more tickets an organization sees, the more important efficient ticket routing becomes. The organization's ability to provide fast and frictionless customer support hinges in large part on your ability to assign appropriate issues to the right agents and bots if you use them. 


50) Ticket Volume

As the name suggests, Ticket volume is the number of tickets that the customer support team receives from the customer end on a day-to-day basis.

It is vital to know the ticket volume to optimize the workforce and also scale and organize workloads.


We hope your customer experience lingo is now super-charged, and not only do you now know the best customer service terminology but also their meanings.

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