Call Center

Updated On: May 10, 2024

What is the Call Arrival Rate, and How to Optimize It? 

Reading-Time 11 Min

Call Arrival Rate

Imagine a busy highway during rush hour, where vehicles continuously pour onto the lanes, creating a dynamic and sometimes chaotic flow. Similarly, the call arrival rate in call centers represents the influx of incoming calls looking for assistance or information.

This post will discuss the call arrival rate, how it affects a call center’s operations, and how your business can improve it. By understanding and monitoring call arrival rates, your business can proactively manage incoming calls and minimize customer dissatisfaction.

What is the Call Arrival Rate? 

The call arrival rate is a metric used in call centers to measure the rate at which calls are received. It is typically expressed as the number of calls received per unit of time, such as calls per hour or calls per minute.  

This metric is important in determining a call center’s staffing needs and optimizing call-handling processes to ensure customers are served efficiently and effectively. 

How to Calculate the Call Arrival Rate? 

The call arrival rate measures how many incoming calls hit your call center within a specific timeframe. The formula for calculating the call arrival rate is: 

For example, if a call center received 500 calls in a 10-hour workday, the call arrival rate would be: 

Call Arrival Rate = 500 / 10  

Call Arrival Rate = 50 calls per hour 

This means that, on average, the call center receives 50 calls every hour during the workday. 

It is important to note that the CAR metric can vary depending on factors such as the time of day, day of the week, holidays, and marketing campaigns.


Knowledge management as a tool for the modern contact center

Get Handbook

Factors Influencing Call Arrival Rates 

Various external and internal factors can influence the call arrival rates in a call center. Here are some of the factors that can impact call arrival rates: 

External Factors: 

1. Marketing Campaigns 

Promotions and advertising campaigns can significantly influence customer behavior and spike call arrival rates.  

An effective marketing effort can raise consumer demand for goods and services, which raises call volumes. For instance, your business introducing a new product could notice increased calls from clients wanting to know more. 

2. Seasonal Trends 

Seasonal events, including holidays, school schedules, and weather trends, can impact call arrival rates in call centers. For example, your business that offers goods or services frequently purchased at particular seasons of the year can see an increase in call volume at such times. On the other hand, call volumes drop during off-seasons. 

3. Economic Events 

Economic events such as recessions, stock market crashes, and other financial crises can impact call arrival rates.  

During challenging economic times, customers may call to inquire about suspending services or lowering subscription prices. At the same time, some companies may experience a decline in their business, leading to a decrease in call volumes. 

4. Competitor Activity 

Competitor activities such as pricing strategies, product announcements, and promotions can impact call arrival rates. When a competitor launches a new product or offers a promotion, customers may call to compare products/services, increasing call volumes. 

Internal Factors: 

1. Staffing Levels 

The number of agents on duty significantly influences the call arrival rate. Calls may be placed on hold if there are insufficient agents, which could result in lost chances or prolonged wait times.  

However, an excessive number of agents may result in increased/higher labor expenses. Determining the ideal workforce level is essential to efficiently managing call volumes. 

2. Operational Efficiency 

The rate of answered calls, the number of dropped calls, the average speed of answer (ASA), and the First Call Resolution (FCR) rate can all be negatively affected by operational problems.  

Slow systems, antiquated technology, or bottleneck operations can lead to long wait times, prompting customers to hang up and request a callback or lower customer satisfaction ratings. These issues can also contribute to agent stress and burnout, further hindering performance. 

3. Quality of Customer Service 

The quality of customer service and how agents handle calls can impact call arrival rates. If customers have a positive experience with a call center – quick, efficient support, problem resolution, and customer-friendly support representatives – they are more likely to call back again.  

However, the primary driver for call arrival rates is usually immediate issues or inquiries. Dissatisfied customers with unresolved problems might be less likely to call again, potentially reducing call volume. 

4. Product or Service Issues 

Call arrival rates can be significantly impacted by problems involving products or services that call for troubleshooting, such as recalls or interruptions in service.  

Consumers can contact the call center with inquiries or issues they need assistance with. Your business should notify customers of service interruptions or product recalls to reduce the high number of calls. 

How to Optimize Call Arrival Rate?

Optimizing the Call Arrival Rate (CAR) is critical for guaranteeing efficient and effective operations in contact centers and other customer service-oriented organizations. Here are some techniques for optimizing CAR:

1. Forecasting and Scheduling 

Use advanced forecasting techniques to predict call volumes accurately. Historical data analysis, seasonal trends, and predictive analytics can all help you make more precise forecasts.  

Once the expected call volumes are estimated, schedule enough agents to handle the expected workload. You may reduce wait times by matching staffing levels to expected call volumes while increasing agent productivity

2. Self-Service Options 

Offer interactive voice response (IVR) systems, chatbots, and online knowledge bases. Providing clients with self-service tools allows them to find answers to common questions on their own, minimizing the need to phone in.  

This not only reduces overall call traffic but also allows agents to tackle more complicated situations, resulting in increased efficiency and customer satisfaction


The Customer Self-service Handbook 2024

Get Handbook

3. Call Deflection strategies 

Use call deflection tactics to direct non-urgent inquiries to different channels. Encourage clients to contact you via online chat or email if they have questions that do not demand immediate attention.  

In addition, use proactive communication channels like FAQs on the website, instructional videos, or community forums to address frequent concerns ahead of time, minimizing the number of incoming calls. 

4. Agent Training and Empowerment 

Invest in thorough training programs to improve agents’ efficiency and effectiveness when managing calls. Provide agents with the required skills, expertise, and tools to solve problems quickly and accurately.  

Furthermore, it empowers agents to make autonomous decisions by giving them access to relevant information and decision-making frameworks. Well-trained and empowered agents may handle calls more efficiently, resulting in shorter call times and higher throughput. 

5. Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement 

Implement a robust quality assurance program to monitor and evaluate call interactions regularly. Examine call logs, poll clients, and obtain input to pinpoint areas that want enhancement.  

Utilize this information to improve procedures, determine what needs to be learned, and carry out remedial measures. By reducing recurrent calls and raising first-call resolution rates, continuous improvement initiatives help optimize call arrival rates while streamlining processes and increasing service quality.


In conclusion, understanding and optimizing the call arrival rate is critical for improving communication efficiency in various industries. Your business can significantly reduce call arrival rates by reviewing and resolving workforce numbers, customer service practices, and technological solutions.  

Implementing efficient processes, utilizing new communication platforms, and investing in employee training are critical measures for improving overall customer experience and operational effectiveness. Finally, a well-managed call arrival rate provides timely and effective customer service and contributes to the organization’s overall performance and reputation. 


Pratik Salia


Pratik is a customer experience professional who has worked with startups & conglomerates across various industries & markets for 10 years. He shares latest trends in the areas of CX and Digital Transformation for Customer Service & Contact Center.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Knowledge by Knowmax

Stay updated with all things KM and CX transformation

By clicking on submit you agree to our Privacy Policy

Be the first to know

Unsubscribe anytime

Unlock the power of knowledge management for your customer service

Unlock the power of knowledge management for your customer service

Related Posts

Knowledge by Knowmax


Schedule a Demo