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How to Measure Value Delivered

Ben Blaney< Ben Blaney December 9, 2021

I went on vacation recently.  Yes, you’re right: writing this blog is me avoiding the email mountain to be addressed.  Indulge me, please. 

It was a glorious time in California.  I was worried that a vacation while wearing masks a lot of the time would detract from the pleasure gained…but I was wrong.  After 18 months without a family trip away, it was a joy. 

We went to Universal Studios in Hollywood.  I’d never been before.  If you haven’t been, each ride or attraction gives an estimate of the wait time.  I observed wait times posted between 5 minutes and 45 minutes.  We had bought the “express pass” which enables the holder to join an accelerated queue for rides and attractions.  Now, I think it’s fair to say that the express pass is a premium price over the regular ticket.  At no time did we wait more than 5 minutes for anything.  It was fantastic, and we were thrilled with the wisdom of our decision (though I will confess to some “buyer’s remorse” between purchase and visit).   

How to Measure Value Delivered

What played on my mind the entire time was “how much time have I saved?”.  Call me a cost-benefit nerd, but I was curious about rationalizing the ROI. 

The thing is, it wouldn’t be that hard to mine the data to find it.  On joining any queue, a staff member scanned the tickets to verify eligibility.  A quick linkage of that to the posted wait time at that moment, and – boom! – we have a solid set of data points. 

Putting the Data to Good Use

This could be used in a number of ways.  At the end of my time as a visitor, the park could tell me, “you saved three hours of waiting”.  It could tell me the three rides that I did at the end of a given day which would not have been possible had I been in longer lines earlier.  It could easily translate the spend into a valuation of my time and could divide my incremental spend for the express pass by the total number of attractions in which I participated – helping to get to a unit price per ride (I’ve a feeling that would feel pretty good, compared to the three-digit “ouch!” when you look at the per-day ticket price). 

Additionally, this data, when aggregated, could help upsell the express tickets.  “Visitors in August usually experience 50% more attractions when using the express pass”, and “100% user satisfaction expressed by visitors from New York”. 

What I’ve described is exactly what we do at Vendavo for our customers.  We constantly, relentlessly, and for free measure the value delivered our customers get from our software.  We have greater rigor and more resources dedicated to this than anyone else in the space. 

Not only do we measure value delivered, but we help identify new areas of opportunity to maximize the benefits.  When we talk to prospective customers, it’s informed by actual measurements (appropriately aggregated and anonymized of course) from the install base.   

Well, I’d better get back to work.  But first, maybe I’ll book park tickets for next year…