Call-in Rate (CIR)

Date created: Aug 7, 2020  •   Last updated: Aug 11, 2020

What is Call-in Rate?

Call-in Rate is the average number of inbound calls received per paid user of a product or service. It is used to monitor changes in call volumes, which can be an early warning sign of product or service issues, and even potential churn.

Alternate names: Contact Ratio, Calls per Customer


ƒ Count(inbound calls from subscribers) / Count(subscribers)

How to calculate

A business with 1,000 subscribers received 3,000 inbound calls last week. The CIR for the week would be 3.

Call-in Rate

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What is a good Call-in Rate benchmark?

On average, a good CIR is around 3-4 on a weekly basis in telecom. More important to watch however is how CIR behaves as your company grows. It should stay the same or get lower.

More about this metric

When a customer calls a business for technical support, queries related to billing, terminating services, or other reasons, the call is known as an inbound call.

While inbound calls can help customers resolve issues, they have two main disadvantages. For customers, they create friction in the flow of work, requiring customers to stop what they’re doing and place a call in order to complete their task. For companies, they increase expenses, as support phone lines need to be staffed by trained personnel.  For these reasons, businesses take steps to lower their Call-in Rate, instead directing the customer to self-service options such as a web-portal or mobile application that can address their concerns. Customer preferences for receiving support have also changed over time, such that today, the majority of customers prefer self-service, digital community, or chat options rather than placing a phone call. 

The CIR can be tracked as a trend over time, to highlight any abnormal spikes or drops in call volume. A spike in CIR may indicate an increased number of bugs in a newly released version of software. On the other hand, a drop in CIR could either be an indicator of customers losing interest in engaging with the product or service, or an indication that customer concerns are being addressed on alternate platforms. For a business trying to increase customer self-service through alternative channels, a lower CIR is generally an indication of a successful digital strategy.