By use case
When you are using a customer messaging solution for the first time, there are many new terms you need to learn. And it's not easy. So we thought we'd help! Here are the definitions of every term in a customer messaging solution that you need to know.
An agent is a customer service representative who handles an organization's incoming or outgoing customer communication such as account inquiries, customer complaints, and support issues. The queries they address can vary from simple product availability to payment-related support requests and the channels they use include chat, email, social media, and phone.
Agent experience is the holistic view of the end-to-end experience you design for your agents to enable them to be empowered, efficient, and effective. It includes everything right from the tools and workflows that make it viable to do their job to the initiatives that prioritize their well-being. Every business leader must take a multi-faceted approach to improve their agent experience.
Agent reports are a record of performance metrics for teams and agents, including metrics such as average handle time, call abandonment rate and sales conversion percentage. They can take different forms, from paper-based to fully automated reports. Sophisticated customer support software will also contain deeper performance insights for managers to forecast and architect a data-driven strategy.
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence by machines or computer software. It enables machines/computer software to think like humans and mimic their speech and actions when interacting with humans. Nowadays, AI(Artificial Intelligence) is extensively used across business functions, including sales, marketing, and support, to build chatbots or virtual assistants that understand human intent and can offer their services accordingly.
API (Application Programming Interface), is a software intermediary that enables the communication between softwares. For instance, each time you use your customer messaging platform to send a message to your customer using a messaging app like WhatsApp or Facebook, your CMS talks to that app using the APIs and sends an instant message.
Apple Business Chat is a service from Apple that lets your organization send messages directly to the iMessage app of your customers using the Business Chat API. While it allows you to talk to your customers, it also enables customers to use this service to contact your business and get resolutions to their queries, schedule appointments, or make payments for their purchases via Apple Pay.
Automatic Speech Recognition or ASR is a machine-based process of decoding and transcribing human speech to a machine and facilitating a tangible interaction between them. This technology allows human beings to use their voices to speak with a computer interface in a way that resembles normal human conversation.
Automatic Message Formatting refers to when message texts get formatted automatically while a user is typing text into a document. This means that when we type any text in a document, this text gets formatted automatically according to a pre-defined set of rules.
It is a computer program that automatically replies to incoming messages. The autoresponder can automatically reply to your emails, SMS messages, and even your social media messages. Chatbots are often referred to as autoresponders as they automatically respond to user messages in real-time. Due to this capability of chatbots, they are often used in customer service to answer simple questions.
Bots are artificial intelligence-driven computer software that automates human tasks. Bots can typically perform tasks that are simple, structured, and repetitive in nature such as answering common queries, finding the right solution article from a database, sending bulk messages, or initiating a conversation with a website visitor.
A bot builder or chatbot software is a platform that is used to conceptualize, build and deploy a chatbot as per business requirements. While some bot builders require you to code your chatbots, others provide a visual interface that allows you to build a chatbot with simple drag and drop.
A bot connector is a set of code that enables your bot to exchange messages with channels that your bot is configured with.
Business-to-business (B2B) refers to transactions between two businesses rather than between a company and an individual consumer. Commerce at a wholesaler and manufacturer level is usually business-to-business, while those at the retailer level are often business-to-consumer (B2C).
Business-to-consumer (B2C) refers to the transactions between a business and the end-users of the products or services directly. Companies selling directly to consumers should assess how their target customers like to shop and market accordingly.
Bot platforms are the software that is used to build and deploy chatbots. These tools are used to build interactive chatbots which are used to interact with customers and help with their queries. These platforms provide access to different APIs and tools which can be used to deploy chatbots on different messaging channels.
Canned responses refer to predefined responses to common queries, which can be accessed and sent by team members as part of their conversations, thus optimizing response time and boosting productivity.
Chat log is an archive of message history from an online chat or instant messaging conversation. These logs allow a team to review the entirety of historical conversations without asking the user the same questions again. While this feature is available mostly on the business side, some messaging apps also autosave, or allow users to save their chat logs.
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a metric that measures how much effort a customer has to exert in order to get an action completed or their request fulfilled. The insights from Customer Effort Score surveys can help you identify opportunities to improve your customer experience and increase customer loyalty.
Customer experience, or CX, refers to the overall experience of a customer across their customer journey. It includes what a customer goes through at every touchpoint, before and after buying a product or service. It includes resolving queries on time, responding to complaints, and troubleshooting issues. Great customer experience is a competitive differentiator that promotes brand recognition and loyalty.
Chat messages are a type of conversational text communication used by businesses to interact with their customers and address their queries. They supplement traditional customer service channels, such as voice and email. Chat messaging can be set up to connect customers with live agents or chatbots. When boosted by live agents, chat support responds to customers in real-time while maintaining human connection and empathy.
It is important to get your user connected to the right person in your team or department. Chat routing helps you automatically route a conversation to an agent or team, based on different rules and criteria. While basic chat routing only takes the availability of an agent into consideration, intelligent chat can route and auto-assign conversations to members in a group based on their area of expertise, skill levels, and conversation load.
Chat scripts are prewritten conversation initiators, which agents or chatbots can use to start a conversation with the user. It helps agents to respond faster via chat and provide a cohesive tone across customer-facing interactions that aligns with the brand’s messaging and tone.
A chat widget is a small chat window that prompts visitors to chat with a representative of the business. It usually appears at the bottom-right edge of your website, social media page, or app. While most chat widgets today are operated by live chat agents, chatbots have become the preferred choice for businesses that need to scale their customer support capabilities or offer 24/7 support.
A chatbot is a computer program built to simulate human conversations and chat with users in real-time. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand user intent and respond with a solution or possible next steps to a user’s query. Apart from customer support, chatbots are also used for user engagement and lead generation.
Conversational commerce can be defined as the interaction consumers have with businesses through messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Talk, and WeChat. With conversational commerce, the consumer engages with a human representative, chatbot, or a mix of both, to get customer support, ask questions, get personalized recommendations, or click to purchase.
A conversational user interface or CUI is an interface that imitates real human language. It uses simple language to make the conversational experience as effortless as talking to a friend. Even though the software is at the other end of the conversation, the language is designed in a way that it makes the user feel closer to human conversation.
Conversational user experience is a two-way interaction that uses chat, voice, and AI to simulate human interactions. Conversational UX is based around the user being in control of the conversation and irrespective of whether the conversation is happening with a chatbot or a human, the main idea behind conversational UX is to provide an experience that feels like a natural human conversation with a sense of empathy.
The customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is a key performance indicator (KPI) that helps an organization measure the level of customer expectations satisfied as per the service provided by the field technician. The basic method to calculate the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score is by dividing the positive responses (satisfied customers) by the total number of responses and multiplying by 100, which is then expressed as a percentage.
Customer-centric is an approach taken by the organization that keeps the customer as the focal point of all decisions related to products, services, and experiences in order to create customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. The customer-centric approach helps companies to build products, policies, and processes that aim at delighting customers.
Customer lifetime value is the customer's potential revenue value over the whole period of their journey. It's an important metric since it's comparatively less costly to keep existing customers than acquire new ones. Businesses use customer lifetime value to identify customer segments most valuable to the company. The longer a customer purchases from a company, the more significant their lifetime value becomes.
A customer portal is a secure website that gives customers a single point of access to their interactions with your company. Using the customer portal they can track support requests or other information such as reference documents that can be easily shared. It helps to strengthen the customer relationship and provides a secure, and open forum for collaboration.
Customer service is the one-on-one interaction every business representative makes with a consumer pre/ post or during purchase. Most companies consider this direct interaction essential in buyer satisfaction to encourage repeat business. Today's customer service goes beyond traditional telephone support. It is available via web, email, text message, and social media. Some companies also provide self-service using chatbots to back their customers 24/7.
Direct to consumer sales, also known as direct to consumer eCommerce, is where a business (manufacturer/producer) sells directly to customers from their web store. The D2C e-commerce model "cuts out" the need for a middleman.
A dashboard is an intuitive user interface that provides a quick glance at the key metrics related to a particular system, with the help of visual charts and reports. These visual reports simplify analysis and allow users to easily extract invaluable data to course-correct in real-time. This significantly reduces the data consumption time and allows managers to monitor and optimize performance.
Data retention is storing and managing the data for a specified time period, in accordance with defined policies. Data retention is done by the companies for various reasons such as - maintaining accurate financial records, complying with government or industry regulations and ensuring accessibility of information.
Deep learning is a machine learning technique that teaches computers to imitate human behavior beyond basic communication and can include actions such as recognizing a stop sign or distinguishing a pedestrian from a lamp post. This is done by training the computer model on a large set of data and neural network architectures that contain many layers.
Enterprise analytics is the use of data, and predictive modeling to drive business strategies and actions. It enables businesses to make informed choices quickly to boost revenue, improve productivity, and stay a step ahead of the market.
Enterprise context is a concept or resource that involves identifying the stakeholders, environmental trends, and aspects of business processes in order to create an enterprise architecture (EA).
Enterprise-grade is usually referred to as a standard for business software that is powerful, scalable, and secure enough to meet the expectations of large organizations.
Entity extraction is a text recognition technology that uses natural language processing (NLP) to scan text documents and classify unstructured text into predefined categories such as name, location, time, occupation, etc. This technique is used to transform unstructured data into structured data which is machine-readable.
Frequently asked question is a list of commonly asked questions that tend to recur or are asked very frequently by users. An FAQ list is most commonly used on websites, forums, and articles where answers to these questions tend to fill the content gap and help others trying to look for answers to similar questions.
Flow-based chatbots, sometimes referred to as ‘rule-based’ chatbots, are types of chatbots that use ‘if/then’ logic to create basic conversational flows. These chatbots are set up with workflows that recognize specific words, their order, synonyms, or common ways in which they are used in a question, and then show appropriate responses based on the rules assigned.
A GUI (graphical user interface) is a visual interface that allows users to interact with a software application or an electronic device using symbols, icons, or other visual indicators. While a complicated GUI can lead to a bad user experience, a simple and modern GUI can enhance the customer experience and improve product adoption.
Gap analysis helps in estimating and managing service quality in a company. It is an analytical tool proposed to understand why customers experience below-par services. Initially, a gap analysis was used to identify and manage service quality; however, it can also be used for customer satisfaction management.
Human fallback (agent handover/ human takeover) is a feature available within chatbots that transfers a conversation to an agent in case the chatbot is unable to identify the next step or the user shows the intent of wanting to talk to a human agent. This is done to offer personalized, empathetic responses to the users whenever required and provide a great customer experience.
Instant messaging is text-based communication where two or more people communicate in real-time using the internet. The software used for instant messaging is known as an instant messaging app and today most messaging apps allow users to send text, image, video, and audio messages.
Internal response time is the time taken by the support team to handle/respond to an assigned transaction. It is often represented by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) unique to the specific function.
Integration in a software ecosystem refers to the process of linking two or more software together so that they work together as one unified software. The integration is done to enhance the capabilities of existing software without hampering product quality and performance.
Customer intent (customer purchase intent) is defined as the purpose or thought behind a customer making a purchase decision. For businesses, purchase intentions are important as it helps them predict the buying behavior of a user and helps them build a better conversion strategy.
Intent recognition (intent detection) refers to understanding the customer's purpose behind a website visit or the action taken on your product. Intent detection is extremely useful to understand the granularity of customer behavior. The intent detection helps agents to respond with better context and helps businesses train chatbots on the user behavior to provide faster resolution to user queries.
A knowledge base or a help center is a repository of information about a product/service. It consists of support documentation about every feature - its purpose and detailed instructions on how to use it. It will also have answers to frequently asked questions and some tips to help customers get out of tight spots.
A key performance indicator ( KPI) is a quantifiable performance measure for a specific objective over time. KPIs provide targets, milestones to gauge progress, and insights for internal teams. This helps the decision-makers in an organization to plan for success. Key performance indicators from finance, HR, marketing, and sales help every business area push forward strategically.
Live chat is a communication channel that allows customers to connect with support agents in real-time. Website visitors can have a live interaction with support agents in a chat box within a browser or app. With live chat, customers have a way of reaching out to agents the minute they have an unresolved query.
Live Agents are representatives in the inbound and outbound customer support teams who handle customer queries in real-time. They attend to customer queries and resolve them within the committed SLAs to maintain a great customer experience.
Live agent handoff is a chatbot feature that transfers a conversation from the chatbot to an agent in case the user wants to talk to a human agent or the chatbot is not able to understand the query. This is done to offer personalized, empathetic responses to the users whenever required and provide a great customer experience.
Live chat software is used to initiate conversations with first-time website visitors, interact with returning customers, or support your existing users via messaging. While the legacy live chat software just has human agent support, modern live chat software offers chatbots to support customers and help agents with repetitive customer queries.
Machine learning is an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that helps software learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. It focuses on developing computer programs that use past data to predict future outcomes.
A Message Service Provider (MSP) is a software provider that acts as a middle man to implement Apple Business Chat solution for your business and makes it possible for users to send or receive texts, photos, and complete payment requests from your business through the iMessage app. MSP also equips businesses with a live agent console that helps them interact with their customers in real-time.
Messaging channel is any communication channel that uses messaging as a medium to send or receive messages from your intended audience. Businesses mostly use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, live chat, in-app chat, and SMS as a messaging channels to interact with their users.
Messaging software is an app or web-based software that allows two-way real-time communication via messages. This communication happens between two or more people using the internet. Apart from messages users can also send images, audio, and video files using these softwares.
Multi-layer authentication adds an extra layer of security to the sign-in process by adding additional identity verification, such as scanning a fingerprint or entering a code received on your phone. When the multi-layer authentication is turned on, the user has to enter their username, password, and a verification code that's generated by the system.
Natural Language Processing, or NLP, is defined as the software automatically manipulating natural languages, like speech and text. With the help of artificial intelligence, computers understand, interpret and use human language. NLP also plays a key role in bridging the gap between human communication and computer understanding.
Natural language understanding (NLU) is a subfield of natural language processing (NLP), transforming human language into a machine-readable format. With the help of NLU and machine learning, computers can analyze company and customer data in seconds, saving businesses countless hours and resources.
Omnichannel is a multi-channel approach taken by businesses that aims to offer seamless engagement with users across all channels of communication. These channels usually include email, phone, live chat, self-service, in-app messaging, and social media.
Performance management is a tool that helps managers monitor and evaluates employees' work. It aims at building an environment where agents can perform at their best and produce the highest quality of work, efficiently.
Proactive chat refers to actively engaging with your website or in-app visitor through messaging before they reach out. Proactive messages can be used through live chat or can be achieved by setting-up time based or behavior-based triggers. Businesses use cues such as pop-ups, sounds, and flashing text in the tab, to attract user attention towards the chat.
Quantitative forecasting is a data-based approach that businesses use to guide future business decisions and make accurate predictions. Using past sales data, quantitative forecasting allows business owners to understand better how they are performing and the processes they can adapt to improve performance. Quantitative forecasting methods are also used to track any patterns over time.
Quick replies are a set of saved messages that can be accessed using a shortcut or from a list, to reply to a direct message. Quick replies (canned responses) are really handy for support agents as it enables them to create seamless experiences for their users and make problem resolution and customer engagement fast and easy.
Response time is the average time taken by your agents to connect with customers and respond to their queries. While other KPIs hold equal importance, response time is crucial for call center management. It primarily works as a vital indicator for businesses where the long waiting time results in higher customer frustration and increased churn rate.
Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) is a form of business process automation that allows anyone to define a set of instructions for a robot or 'bot' to perform.
Return on investment, or ROI, is a financial computation that estimates the success of an investment relative to its cost. It is calculated using the following formula: (Gain of Investment) - (Cost of Investment) / (Cost of Investment). The result is expressed in percentages showcasing profits and losses.
Software as a service (or SaaS) is a subscription-based software delivery model accessed through a web browser, where users log into the system using a username and password to use the software. SaaS applications run on a SaaS provider's servers. The provider supervises access to the application, including availability, security, and performance.
Segmentation divides customers into segments based on their needs and interests and offers them personalized offers. Companies can also create segments based on new and old customers or satisfied and not-so-satisfied customers using past purchasing history data.
Self-service is a quick and easy way for users to access resources and find solutions on their own without requiring assistance from customer support. Users can search knowledge base articles or get help from chatbots directly across different channels like web, apps, and messaging apps to get a quick resolution to their queries.
Customer sentiment is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that indicates customers’ emotions towards your product, service, or brand in general. This emotion ranges from positive to negative sentiment. Customer sentiment analysis is the process of automatically detecting these emotions during a customer’s interaction with your products or services and categorizing them based on polarity (whether the emotion is positive, negative, or neutral) and magnitude (the strength of emotion exhibited by the customer).
A service level agreement (SLA) is an agreement/promise that sets expectations of how and when an activity will be executed. These expectations follow a set of standards that the management uses to pilot decisions. With these guiding parameters, decisions can be determined to improve efficiency, enhance customer satisfaction, improve cost-cutting, and more.
A smart bot is often an AI-powered chatbot that typically uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to simulate human-like conversations. Smart bots are typically used to answer repetitive queries/ FAQs, for self-service, to collect customer feedback, and to assist users to complete a purchase.
SMS stands for Short Message Service. It’s a way a user can send a text message (up to 160 characters) using the cellular network. Although SMS was initially developed for personal communication it has become one of the preferred channels for businesses to reach out to their users.
An SMB stands for small and medium-sized businesses typically having less than 249 employees with annual revenues of up to $50 million. Every SMB is unique; however, most share some common characteristics like - organizational hierarchy and business requirements.
Texting or text messaging is the activity of sending a text message using your phone. Texting is usually an informal mode of communication but it’s more recently used extensively by businesses to reach out to their user base. Text messages use a cellular network unlike instant messaging which uses the internet to send messages.
A touchpoint is any part of the customer journey where a customer interacts with a business. This touchpoint could be a social media interaction, a direct interaction with a store employee, a call with customer service, and so on. Every touchpoint is part of a customer journey that shapes a consumer's opinion of a company.
Webhook is a medium wherein two apps can communicate with each other and share information. Webhook automatically shares the information as soon as something happens on your app/ software. For example - a person purchased something from your ecommerce store and since an event occurred at your store, a webhook will be triggered to share that information.
WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to connect with their customers on the WhatsApp messaging app. WhatsApp API also allows businesses to integrate chatbots to help users with common queries, order details, and build an ecommerce experience.
A WhatsApp chatbot (WhatsApp bot) is a computer program designed to automatically answer customer questions about products and services, share content, and send notifications regarding orders, payments or shipping details on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp opt-in is getting your prospects and customers (both new and existing) to agree on providing their number and to receive messages and notifications from your business via WhatsApp. However, the app mandates that businesses cannot get this opt-in via WhatsApp itself.
WhatsApp Buttons (also known as WhatsApp Interactive Buttons) allow users to respond to a business by using the buttons available as a response. It is a great way to take users through an automated and logic-based chat flow that can reduce confusion.
WhatsApp integration refers to linking WhatsApp Business API with a customer messaging software so that both - the API and the messaging software, can work together as one unified software. This is done to enable businesses and customers to interact on WhatsApp without hampering the product quality, performance and user experience.
Workflow management refers to identifying, coordinating, and organizing a particular set of tasks that produce a specific outcome. Workflow management is about improving, optimizing, and automating workflows to improve output, eliminate repetition, and reduce errors.
Workforce optimization is a strategy used in business focusing on maximum customer satisfaction and benefits with minimal operational costs and supported by integrated technologies.
Workforce planning is the process of analyzing and forecasting workforce supply and demand. They assess gaps and determine target talent management interventions to ensure that an organization has the right people with maximum skill set.
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