It’s more than twenty dollars. After fuel, maintenance, after-work showers, and the Capri-Suns he drinks mid-mow, I’m paying closer to twenty-four dollars. The twenty-spot is just for building my son’s work ethic. And my Madden skills.

Likewise, you’ve calculated Cost Per Acquisition since the day you opened your call center. CPA—money spent over sales—is the smoothest way to determine efficiency. Or, at least, it was.

Executives explore CPA factors and often trim incrementally, so cuts won’t impact one particular area. But their logic—and yours—is going off ancient mathematics in a 21st Century environment. They need to re-evaluate cost generators, and so do you. Here are a few reasons why:

You’ve networked your assets. For example: Recruiting was once an isolated department. They would only evaluate talent, report their findings to Human Resources and prepare agents for orientation. For decades, this was the standard.

Today, most Recruiting Departments work closely with HR and Trainers, who spend hours with Recruiters in interviews, evaluating candidates to predict applicant success. This invaluable time doesn’t reflect profit in traditional metrics. The results could be a triumphant agent, but metrics you’ve been using for thirty years don’t incorporate the costs of third-party feedback into future acquisitions.

You’ve integrated Culture. Trends toward engagement have revolutionized call center reality. Through innovative workforce management, gamification, and revitalized reward structures, call centers drive to make workplaces havens for agents. Through company functions, floor activities, clubs and education, your Culture Team builds atmosphere that entices agents to engage and succeed.

Calculating Culture is in its infancy. The formula really depends on each campaign; Culture Departments are so new that many centers haven’t yet finished evaluating overall impact, let alone specific agents in different levels of engagement. One such attempt: Pass out drinks during three or four specific times everyday for a month. Record who accepts those drinks and when. Note sales conversion for those agents, and measure their sales against past numbers. Now you can factor the cost of energy drinks per sale into total CPA.

You’re Coaching is faster than ever. Most call centers allocate Coaching time. Because Coaching is fluid, proper aux codes track inconsistently. This, surprisingly, is good.
Thanks to real-time alerts and cooperative Quality Assurance departments, Coaching time is fractioned. When agents drift off track, Supervisors and agents receive immediate notifications. QA now sends comprehensive, efficient instructions. Coaching has evolved from twenty-minute reprimands to instant course corrections.

Cost Per Acquisition is a long-standing measure of success, but centers are trending toward a new future while leaving their metrics in the past. Cooperative assets, cultural enhancements and expedited Coaching are just a few of the changes challenging your numbers. Re-think CPA: not because your numbers are failing, but because your company is growing up.