Common terms, phrases, and definitions used in the customer experience industry and in Upstream Works omnichannel contact center solutions



An agent in a contact center is someone who handles incoming or outgoing customer contacts for an organization. They might handle account inquiries, customer complaints or support issues. Other terms for agents include Advocate, Ambassador, Customer Service Representative (CSR).

Agent and Customer Engagement

Contact center interactions include agent and customer engagement, and the quality of the experience that each has during interactions is critical to the organization’s success. A single workspace for all channels and contacts with full context increases both agent and customer satisfaction and improves retention and loyalty.

Agent Solve Rate

Agent Solve Rate is the best measure of agent effectiveness and is defined as the percentage of interactions resolved by an agent.

AI & Bots

AI & Bots can automate the handling of routine inquiries, resulting in customer experience improvements, reduced customer effort, and cost-savings for the organization.


Call Center

An office set up to handle a large volume of phone calls, especially for taking orders and providing customer service, support and customer care.

Call Center Software

Call center software is a technology tool that increases the effectiveness and efficiency of a call center, with specific focus on interactions between customers and call center agents.


A channel is a communication technology that a customer uses to communicate needs, concerns and requests. UWF provides a flexible approach to channel handling that allows channels to be added with minimal configuration. Agents can handle customer contacts in the same consistent fashion, no matter what the channel.

Chat messages / Chat channel

Chat in the contact center refers to web-based, real-time text-based conversations between a customer/website visitor and an agent. Chat may or may not include chatbots (bots) as well as agent-assisted conversations.

Cisco Finesse Agent Desktop

Cisco Finesse integrates traditional contact center functions into a thin-client desktop. It implements a browser-based desktop through a web 2.0 interface, no client-side installations required.

Cloud Contact Center Software

Cloud contact center software provides functionality that was previously only available through on-premise hardware, through the internet.

Contact Center

An extension of the traditional call center, contact centers handle communications between an organization and its customers/ prospects/ members. These communications were previously limited to phone calls but are increasingly of a digital nature including email, chat, SMS, social messaging, etc.

Contact Center Software Integration

Contact center components can include automatic call distributors, integrated voice response units, computer-telephony integration, queue management, and more. Integration of these components is required in order for the contact center to operate effectively and efficiently.

Contact Center Knowledge Base

A contact center knowledge base is a centralized database of dynamic information that can be easily referenced during a customer interaction. Knowledge management tools allow customers and contact center agents to search and access the same database of information, enabling self-service while also empowering agents with knowledge that helps them resolve issues more quickly.

Conversational Data

UWF includes a rich set of real-time statistics and historical reports for insights into all the conversational data and information collected by UWF, across all channels in the contact center.

Customer Context

Customer context is all of the data and information available to an agent to service and support a contact. UWF uses a consistent logic to capture and record the context for contacts across all channels so that it is available, real-time and historical for agents and for reporting and analytics.

Customer Data

Customer experience data provides information needed to make CX better. Connecting all customer data across an organization including sales, marketing, social media, front office and back office enables agents to view, manage and optimize the customer experience.  When agents have visibility to all customer data they are empowered to provide personalized, proactive and quick resolution. The integration and analytics of customer data allows businesses to gain valuable information about customer behaviors and insights into areas for improving customer experience and loyalty.

Customer Experience (CX)

Personalization of the customer experience includes knowing customer preferences, history, transcripts of previous conversations and predictive intelligence to provide relevant offers and identify upsell opportunities.

An effortless customer experience requires channel choice, the convenience of easily switching between preferred channels, not having to repeat information if transferred, and first contact resolution.

Customer Experience Management

Customer Experience Management is the practice of designing, mapping and responding to customer interactions across channels and the entire customer journey to meet or exceed customer expectations and, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and lifetime value.

Customer Interaction

For each contact reason identified a separate interaction is tracked in the Interaction Activity and Interaction History. Because customers can reach out for more than one reason and agents can service more than one request, multiple interactions can be tracked for each contact.

Customer Journey

The customer journey is comprised of all the interactions and activities that customers experience while engaging with your company and brand.

Customer Journey Analytics

Customer journey analytics is a term for a specific kind of business analysis that concerns a customer “journey” or sequential customer experience across channels and over time. Organizations can leverage Interaction History, customer context, and reporting to understand customer behaviors, identify trends, and facilitate process improvements that enhance the agent and customer experience.

Customer Journey Mapping

The customer journey map is comprised of all the interactions and activities that customers experience while engaging with your company and brand. Instead of looking at a single transaction or event, the customer journey map documents the full customer experience.

Customer Journey Optimization

Customer journey optimization is achieved by mapping and integrating all customer interactions, channels, and data across the enterprise through a single agent desktop.

Contact Reason (CR)

All interactions are classified by a contact reason that tells you why a customer contacted. Classification by contact reason provides business information and data about your contact center and your customers.

Contact Reason Detail (CRD)

Contact Reason Detail is the second level of a contact reason. It can be used to provide the outcome or more specific information and data about the reason for a contact.


Email / Email Channel

Email in the contact center refers to electronic mail exchanged between a customer and an agent. Email features can include subject line parsing, auto-replies, forwarding, Personal Agent Routing (PAR), Last Agent Routing (LAR), dynamic templates, and more.


First Contact Resolution (FCR)

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is the number of tasks marked as first contact that were resolved accordingly.



For each contact reason identified, a separate interaction is tracked in the Interaction Activity and Interaction History. Because customers can contact the organization for more than one reason and agents can service more than one request, multiple interactions can be tracked for each contact.

Interaction History

Interaction Activity and Interaction History provides full context and easy navigation of past customer interactions across all channels including transcripts and recordings.

Interceptable Messaging Pipeline

Interceptable Messaging Pipeline Architecture  provides a pipeline for all messages with multiple interception points, supporting the sequential integration of third-party plugins to add business intelligence or perform transformations at various points e.g. tag, auto-respond, credit card masking, profanity filers, more.


Multichannel Contact Center

Multichannel contact centers provide capabilities for communications on email and chat in addition to traditional voice. A precursor to omnichannel contact centers which eliminates channel silos and provides a consistent customer experience for any channel.


Omnichannel Agent Desktop

Unlike multichannel agent desktops where channels like phone, email, and chat are supported with different tools and information, an omnichannel agent desktop provides a seamless and consistent experience for both the agent and the customer and spans every customer communication channel.

Omnichannel Contact Center

Omnichannel contact centers afford organizations the flexibility to set up all communications channels with a consistent set of tools and contact management capabilities. Customer experience improves with CX journey management that enables customers to easily move between channels with continuous, seamless service.

Omnichannel Customer Experience

An omnichannel customer experience may span interactions across a number of different channels and may include elements of self-service as well as agent assistance.  The experience is supported with full visibility to context and interaction history so that as the customer moves between service types and across channels, the customer information and context about their journey moves with them.

Omnichannel Customer Journey

The omnichannel customer journey is comprised of all the interactions and activities that customers experience while engaging with your company and brand, across all channels.

Omnichannel Integration Strategy

UWF provides the foundation for a successful omnichannel integration strategy and channel-less experience, with KPIs, reports, and analytics for accurate, predictive measurements of channel activity and performance.

Omnichannel Management

UWF provides tools and insights to help contact center management leverage agents and teams for maximum efficiency and better contact center results. Real-time omnichannel visibility, control and historical reports equip management with data to make operational improvements for improved business outcomes.

One Platform

There is no single application that delivers all the functionality required to deliver an optimal agent and customer experience. Instead, organizations can opt for one platform for all interactions and channels that provides a single view into all integrated applications, systems, and databases.  This strategy is cost-effective and offers the flexibility required for a changing customer landscape and evolving business needs.

Proactive Chat

Chat can be offered proactively to website visitors based on triggers such as time on page, activity on page. Tailored, proactive engagements can be made through platforms like Adobe Experience Cloud


Screen pop / Application Pop

Through integrations, the agent desktop can automatically display or “pop” screens and applications based on shared enterprise database information. The pop can be triggered by an event or manually achieved with a button-click.

SMS Messages / SMS Channel

SMS or Short Message Service in the contact center refers to real-time text-based conversations between a customer and agent using a mobile telephone, fax machine, and/or IP address. In UWF, SMS messages are handled along with chats in the chat gadget, for easy multi-contact handling.

Social Care

Social Care – Monitor and escalate social posts from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more to the contact center

Social Messages / Social Channels

Social channels in the contact center can include Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, and other social messaging platforms. Messages are queued and allocated based on routing rules configured by the contact center just like other channels.



In addition to handling incoming contacts, agents can also handle queued or manual tasks. The two terms task and contact are in many ways interchangeable.

Third Party Reporting Platforms

Many UWF customers leverage third party reporting platforms for data manipulation. We provide a schema, set of views, and stored procedures that are readily accessible to management

Unified Digital Messaging

Unified Digital Messaging – Single, virtual, continuous conversations across platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, TwitterDM, WeChat, and more

UWF Standard Historical Reports

Valuable information, details and insights are provided in the UWF Standard Historical Reports including:

  • Business Reports
  • Operational Skills Reports
  • Transfer Reports
  • Detail Reports

UWF Supervisor Interface

UWF Supervisor interface provides an intuitive, flexible, tailored user experience with advanced capabilities, drill-downs and filters, resource controls, and operational views for timely, proactive contact center management.


Upstream Works for Finesse

Upstream Works for Finesse (UWF) is an omnichannel single agent desktop for all channels and applications, within Cisco Finesse. UWF goes beyond email and chat to bring all channels into the contact center. Customers have a unified and continuous experience, no matter how they choose to reach out. Seamless integration between UWF and any application or CRM platform extends the value of investments, reducing training time and increasing productivity. Management and Supervisors have full visibility, making it easy to manage and report on contact center trends and activities. The Single Agent Desktop is intuitive and empowers agents with capabilities to deliver personalized, responsive, and consistent customer engagements across every channel.

Video & Co-browse

Video and Co-Browse Customer Care – Show and guide customers to quick, personalized resolution with Tokbox, Twilio, Vidyo, and more