Glossary of Pay Per Call and Call Center Terms


Glossary of Pay Per Call and Call Center Terms

If you want to ‘walk the walk,’ you need to ‘talk the talk.’ This is even more important in Pay Per Call or when working with Call Centers. By knowing and understanding these terms, you will be able to speak the language with just about anyone in the industry, implying you are an expert in the space and presenting yourself as an authority.

A | B | C | D | F | G | H | I | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | V | W


Abandonment Rate – The percentage of callers who hang up before connecting to an agent.

Abandoned Call (Abandons) – Calls that don’t get answered before the caller hangs up.

ACD – Automatic Call Distributor (ACD Status) – A telecommunications system that distributes incoming calls to a specific group of targets or agents.

ACL – Average Call Length – When viewing statistics for a campaign, the average call length is represented by taking the total number of minutes and dividing them by the total number of calls. For instance, if your campaign has ten calls with 10 hours of total time on the phone, the ACL would be 10 hours / 10 hours = 1 hour.

Agent – Person who answers calls in a call center. Often called a Customer Service Representative (or CSR).

Agent Productivity – A performance metric for determining the productivity of an agent in a call center using factors like abandoned rate, average handle time, after-call work.

AHT – Average Handle Time – The amount of time an agent has occupied on an incoming call.

Allocate Numbers – Assign numbers to a number pool, campaign, or publisher.

Area Code – Three digit code that identifies different areas of the United States, Canada, and certain other countries.


Barge-In – The ability to listen to a live call without the knowledge of the agent or caller.

Bi-Directional (2-way) SMS – A messaging system for sending and receiving text messages that allow commercial users to reply to text messages. For instance, typically bulk SMS is sent out to users, and the user is expected to click a link, call a number, or interact with the information some way. However, nothing prevents the user from replying to the SMS, and most systems do not allow continuous communication or a ‘conversation’ to take place.

Blocked Call – Calls that get automatically terminated due to identifying the caller as spam.

BPO – Business Process Outsourcing (a BPO, BPO Center) – A company that provides outsourcing services for specific business activities.

Busy Signal – A tone used to indicate that the party on the receiving end of a call is currently in another conversion.

Buyer – Targets can be assigned buyers (owners) with sub-accounts so a buyer can log in and see all of their statistics and payouts for all of their target. Buyers can be assigned to multiple targets because sometimes they may have different partners, queues, or campaigns all in the same brokerage or call center.


Call Attribution – By linking calls to a specific source and user data it allows you to optimize your campaigns and attribute revenue to specific traffic and call sources. Without detailed information about who is and is not calling, it is not easy to optimize campaigns by performance.

Call Center – A business that is set up to handle a large volume of telephone calls.

Call Center Efficiency – Call Center Efficiency is the process of optimizing the operations of a call center, including; response time, handle time, abandonment rate, average handle time, agent productivity and caller satisfaction.

Call Duration – Length of the call from the moment the call has connected to our server, and the moment the call gets terminated; also referred to as ‘call length’ or the ‘length of a call.’

Call Log – Details about a call for in-depth monitoring of how calls get serviced.

Call Tracking – The process of recording information about the customer journey from the calls they make.

Call Queue – Calls that cannot be immediately answered by Agents get held in a queue. These typically run on a first-in, first-out basis, but can also be configured into priority and waterfall scenarios.

Caller ID – Caller Identification (CNAM – Caller Name) – The phone number of the caller.

Calling Card – A card that allows the user to make telephone calls from any phone and charge the cost to their home telephone number.

Campaign – Settings assigned to a specific group of actions, publishers, or targets to meet the needs of your clients.

Capacity – The amount of call traffic, or concurrency, a target can handle.

Capacity Management – The management of human resources to match the number of predicted inbound calls throughout the day.

Carrier – A company that is authorized by regulatory agencies to operate a telecommunications system.

CLEC – Competitive Local Exchange Carrier – A telecom provider that is competing with an already established carrier in a market or region.

Click to Call – A type of user interaction for connecting with a business or individual.

Cold Transfer – A type of transfer where a call is routed immediately to a destination without any initial context.

Concurrency (CC, cc) – The number of simultaneous calls that a contact center can, or is receiving, at one time. For instance, if a call center has 25 agents, their maximum concurrency is 25.

Connect – When a caller and an agent are brought together on the phone they’re connected. The call is ‘connected’ at the moment all parties are brought together, whether that means a caller and an agent, or the receiving party’s phone system answers the call and puts it in a queue for the next available person.

Connected – The moment when an agent answers a call.

Connection – The moment when a caller has routed to a target, and the call gets answered.

Contact Center, Customer Contact Center, or Call Center – A business that specializes in communicating with customers through a variety of channels (ex calls, emails, live chat)

Country Code – The two-digit ISO code assigned to the country a caller wants to reach when making an international phone call. Examples: US, CA, GB, AU, MX

CS – Customer Service – The experience and service a customer receives from a business before, during, and after purchasing a product or service.


Deallocate (Deallocate Number) – Remove a number from your Ringba account. Once a number gets deallocated, it is released back to the phone carrier and cannot be repurchased or added back to your account.

Dial Tone – A sound indicating a caller may start to dial.

DID – Direct Inward Dial – A DID or ‘Direct Inward Dial’ number is a virtual phone number used to route inbound calls. All phone numbers issued inside of Ringba are DIDs.

Disposition – The outcome or result of a phone call. Example: Sale, not interested, follow-up.

Distributed Call Center – A call center with distributed agents who are located all around the city, country, or world.

Downtime – The period that a system has not been working or available. Opposite of Uptime. Call centers refer to any time where something is causing their floor to stop taking calls.

Dropped Call – A phone call that is terminated or disconnected abruptly before the speakers finished their conversion due to some technical difficulty, not the users hanging up the phone.

Duplicate Call – A repeat call made by the same caller within a specific period.


Failed to Connect – When a target’s system is unable to answer or connect a call, it gets as a failure.

FCC – Federal Communications Commission – A government agency responsible for regulating communications by communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in the United States.

Floor – The office area of a call center where agents take calls.

Floor Plan – The seating plan for agents working in a call center.

Fulfillment (Call Center) – A company that specializes in providing call center and customer support services on behalf of another company.


Geo Routing – The routing of calls based on the caller’s geographic location.

Granular – Granular refers to the reporting information that is available inside tracking platforms. Granular information is specific information about a call that may be useful. Examples being the caller’s: Device, operating system, geographic location, carrier, landing page, and more.


Handle time – The length of time a caller spends talking to an agent.

Headset – A hands-free device used by contact center agents for communicating with callers.

Hold time – The length of time a caller spends waiting on hold to speak to an agent. Hold time is calculated from the moment the call has connected to the moment when an agent answers the call.

Home Agents – Agents that service calls from their home instead of an office or call center facility.

Hours of Operation – The hours that a contact center can accept calls.


Inbound Call – A call that is originated by an external source, or caller.

Inbound Number – A phone number designated to receive calls.

Incoming – Calls that are currently in progress.

Integrations – The ability to connect to third-party tools and workflows.

ITC – International Telecommunication Union – A specialized agency of the UN responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies.

ITSP – Internet Telephony Service Provider – A company that provides telecom services and infrastructure over the internet using VoIP.

IVR – Interactive Voice Response – A system responsible for interacting with callers by requesting they press numbers on their dial-pad or speak into the phone.

IXC – Interexchange Carrier – A long distance phone company.


Landline – A POTS (“Plain Old Telephone System”) telephone line that is made using copper wire. These phone lines are provided low voltage power from the phone station so that even during a power outage, the phone lines still work. These are still in use today due to requirements for critical services like 911.

LCR – Least Cost Routing – The process of selecting the routing of call traffic based on cost.

LEC – Local Exchange Carrier – A local telephone company.

Leg – A segment of the entire network-to-network path that a call gets routed through. For instance, someone may reference an “outbound leg.” They’re speaking about the route from their system or platform to the end user. An “inbound leg” refers to the opposite, the route from the caller to their system or platform.

Line Busy – When a phone number has reached the maximum number of concurrent calls the line can handle.

Load Balancing – The process of optimizing how calls are routed based on performance.

Local Number – A type of phone number that is associated with a specific geographic location.

Local Number Portability – The ability to re-assign a local phone number to a different carrier. Types of porting: service provider portability, geographic portability, service portability


Misdials – Connected calls where the caller dialed an incorrect number.

Missed Number Pool – All numbers inside of your number pool are in use by other sessions. When you start to see this warning, we suggest increasing the size of your pool.

MMS – Multimedia Message System – The technical term for a text message (txt message) that includes multimedia files such as pictures, audio or video.

Mobile Number – The phone number of a mobile phone or device that connects to the network wirelessly.

Mobile Number Portability – The ability to re-assign a mobile phone number to a different carrier.


No Connects – A call that was initiated but did not connect to a target.

No Target Answered – When a call does not get answered by any of a campaign’s targets Ringba throws this error event.

No Target Found – When there are no targets found based on the routing criteria for a call Ringba throws this error event.

North American Numbers – Phone numbers for the United States and Canada.

Not Found – 404 – When a user lands on content that is no longer available or gets sent to invalid content in error.

Notifications – A system for sending updates and important messages.

Number Format – The format used to display a phone number generated by a Ringba JavaScript tag.

Number Lock – When a number from a number pool gets assigned to a user Ringba locks it for a specific period allowing the user to call.

Number Pool – A group of phone numbers used for caller analytics.

Number Pools – All the Number Pools associated with a Ringba account.


On-Site – Agents that service calls from an office or call center facility.

Optimizing Call Flow – The process of improving the caller experience and routing of a call based on previously gathered data. Also called Call Flow Optimization.

Outbound Call (Outbound) – A call originated by an agent to reach a customer outside of their contact center or location.

Overages – The additional cost that gets charged over included usage.

Overflow – Excess call traffic that is greater than a call center’s capacity.


Paid Call – A call the meets conversion criteria.

Payout – The money paid to your publisher for every conversion that meets the campaign’s criteria.

Pay Per Call (PPCall) – An advertising, billing, and performance marketing model for connecting businesses with inbound customer calls.

Pay Per Call Network – A platform that manages Pay Per Call campaigns on behalf of advertisers and generates calls through the network of publishers.

Pay Per Callers – People involved in the Pay Per Call industry in some way. Also the name of the industry’s only forum you can find at

PBX – Private Business Exchange – A private phone system that gives businesses access to systems and services concerning their phones. PBX Systems can be physically located on-premise, or remote in the cloud and provide a wide range of services. Some examples are transferring calls, IVR systems, voicemail, and more.

Per Minute Usage – The associated cost for a single minute of voice traffic into a PBX, or connecting an outbound call.

Per Seat – A billing model used in the call center world that refers to billing a customer “per seat,” which implies a concurrency billing model as multiple people may share the same seat. Example: A call center has 100 desks and seats for agents so they must license their CRM software on a per-seat basis.

Phone Number – A string of numbers people can use to reach other people on the telephone network.

Porting (Number Portability) – The process of switching a phone number from one carrier to another.

Postal Code (ZIP Code, different countries) – A unique identifier for a specific geographic location. // A unique identifier for regions located in X. The format for Y is Z.

POTS – Plain Old Telephone System – A traditional phone line that uses copper wire to deliver voice services to users. When you plug a phone into the wall using a standard phone cord, you are connecting to a POTS telephone line.

Predictive Dialer (Dialer) – An outbound calling system that automatically dials from a list of telephone numbers. Also known as; robodialer, autodialer

Priority – A scoring variable used by Ringba to determine which target to send a call.

PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network – The aggregate of the world’s interconnected communications networks.


QA – Quality Assurance – The process of determining whether a product or service meets specified requirements.

QoS – Quality of Service – A metric for measuring the voice quality on a call.


Raw Call – An inbound call, whether answered or not. This term is typically used to describe a billing method where the buyer is responsible for paying for every call, whether they answer it or not. Example: “$10 per raw call.”

Recording (2-Channel Recording, Call Recording) – The act of recording and storing an audio file of a phone call. Especially useful for storing an audio file for analysis and quality assurance. Two-channel recordings record each party on a call inside of a separate audio channel in a single file.

Redials – When a caller who has previously called connects with an agent using the same phone number.

Repeat Call – A call from someone who has previously called in. Also known as a duplicate call.

Reporting – Analytics and tools for reviewing call traffic, call logs, caller details, and recordings.

RespOrg – The company responsible for registering and provisioning individual toll-free numbers.

Revenue – The gross amount of money earned from calls generated.

Ringba JavaScript Tag (Ringba Tracking Tag, Ringba Tag) – A snippet of code used by Ringba to track information about users and to display phone numbers on web pages.

Ringing – The period that a call is waiting to get answered.

Ringless Voicemail – A method of leaving pre-recorded audio messages in someone’s voicemail without their phone ringing.

Robocall – An automated call is done by a computer that plays back a pre-recorded message to the user.

Routing Plan – A collection of targets for managing calls flows and routing call traffic.

RPC – Revenue Per Call – The gross revenue generated per inbound call to a call center and calculated by taking the gross revenue and dividing it by the number of calls it took to generate the revenue.


Schedule Adherence – A method of measuring how close an agent follows their schedule. Schedule Adherence is expressed by taking the total time a call center agent is available and dividing it by the time they are scheduled to work.

Seat – A position or availability in a call center for an agent to take calls.

Seat Fees – The cost associated with operating a single seat.

Self-Reporting – When a party provides reporting information about calls and conversions without full transparency for all parties involved.

Short Duration Calls – Calls that do not require a lengthy conversation before terminating.

SIP – Session Initiated Protocol – SIP is a VOIP Protocol used by most cloud-based phone service providers. Using SIP allows you to take a VOIP call and connect it directly without passing it through the offline telecom system, preserving better voice quality. Every time a call gets from a regular phone line to VOIP, it will typically be compressed and lose quality.

SIP Endpoint – A SIP Endpoint is the connection address used to route a call using VOIP, without connecting to the telephone network. Also known as a “SIP Address.”

SIP Header – The header of a packet sent using the SIP protocol. This header can contain information about the call, unlike a traditional call, that allows you to attribute it to specific data similar to a conventional online marketing tracking link.

SIP Trunk – A VoIP technology based on SIP that provides the ability to deliver telephone and communications services online.

SMS – Short Message Service – The technical term for a text message (txt message). These messages have specific length restrictions based on country and carrier.

Speech-to-Text – Assistive technology that uses computers to translate spoken language into text. Also known as “Transcription.”

SSL – Secure Socket Layer – The encryption layer that protects your information as it travels from your computer to the server that is sending you information. Typically used whenever a username or password is required, SSL encryption is becoming more common for every website.

Sub-Account – Employee or team member account that is controlled by your main account to allow permission-based access to different areas of Ringba.

SubID – Sub Identification – An identification variable that tracks specific information about a user. It is typically used with keywords, traffic sources, or some other kind of data to attribute the user’s actions to a specific source.

Syndication – The process of converting an audio file of someone speaking to text.


Tag Routing – The ability to dynamically route calls using tags.

Target – The receiving party of a call. Usually, this is a salesperson, call center, marketplace, or broker.

Target Number – The phone number or SIP address of a target that will get used to route calls to them.

Target Priority – The priority of a target determines what order a call will have routed if multiple targets are open and have available concurrency.

Target Timeout – The amount of time that a target has to answer a call before it gets routed to another target.

Target Weight – A sub-setting of the target priority, weight allows you to add a target to a campaign and adjust its relative priority without re-organizing numerous other targets for campaigns with large target lists. Weight gets calculated after priority for those targets that have matching priority.

Targets – A destination or phone number that inbound calls can get routed to.

TCL – Total Call Length – The total call length for a specific campaign is a total of the time spent on the phone for every call over a specific time. For instance, if you had ten calls that were each 30 minutes, you would have a total call length of 5 hours. To calculate this we take 30 minutes ** ten calls for 300 minutes, divided by 60 for conversion to hours, is 5 hours of total call length.

Telco Providers – A company that provides telecommunications products and services.

Termination Point – Call termination refers to connecting a call to an end user’s mobile or landline phone. The termination point refers to the phone number of the end user that the call is getting terminated to.

Text-to-Speech – Assistive technology that uses computers to read text aloud.

TFN – Toll-Free Number – Type of phone number where the receiving party pays for the telecom costs. Mostly irrelevant now in the United States and Canada with the advent of unlimited calling plans. However, we find Toll-Free Numbers have a much higher conversion rate as they are associated with trust.

TFN – Telephone Number – Telephone number.

TFN Prefix – The three digit prefix after an area code for a North American phone number.

Time to Call – The time between when a user gets shown a phone number and when they call. Calculated by subtracting the time when the user was first shown the phone number from the time when they called.

Time to Connect – The time between when a call gets accepted into Ringba, and the moment it has connected with a target.

Toll-Free Number Portability – The ability to re-assign a toll-free phone number to a different carrier.

Transcription – The process of converting speech to text

Trunk – Individual channels or circuits that can get grouped. The smallest denominator for a network facility.

Trunking – The process of grouping individual channels or circuits.


Voice – A term used to describe a specific type of traffic over a network. For instance, someone may say: “we have 1,000 minutes per day of voice traffic.”

Voicemail – A computer-based system that allows users to exchange voice messages via telephone.

Voicemail Drops – A voicemail drop, also known as a Ringless Voicemail Drop (RVD) is a marketing campaign that takes a voice recording and delivers it directly to end users voicemail box without their phone ringing. They will get a notification on their mobile device that they’ve received a voicemail to listen to.

VOIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol – Phone and voice services that happen over the internet without requiring a user to use traditional ‘copper wire’ phone lines. Many international calls are routed over VOIP to reduce the transport cost of the call. Services like Google Voice and Skype use VOIP to connect to the telephone network and allow their users to make calls.

VOIP Provider – A provider of VOIP services, including; infrastructure, billing, and customer care.

Vox – The formal definition is ‘vocals’ or ‘voice.’ Vox is traditionally paired with some other form of name to create a brand in the VOIP industry. For instance, Voxbone is one of the largest VOIP companies in Europe.


Warm Transfer – A type of transfer where an agent speaks to the person they transferring their call to before handing off the call.

Webhook – A method for interacting with APIs and making HTTP requests that are usually triggered by an event.

Weighting – A scoring variable used by Ringba to determine which target to send a call.

Welcome Message – The recording or text-to-speech message a caller hears when their call initially gets answered.

Whisper Message – A message played back to the receiving party of a call before it is connected to give them information about the call or caller.

Wireless Provider – A provider of wireless telecom services, including; infrastructure, billing, customer care, provisioning computer systems, and repair.

Workforce Management – The process of maximizing the performance, productivity, and competency for an organization, including; staffing, scheduling, training, forecasting, and monitoring.

Join Our Newsletter

Profitable marketing tactics, case studies, in-depth guides, and more. Enter your email address now.