This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
Pascal was what you would consider a pretty clever fellow despite the fact that he had nothing to do with Kiosks or Self Service.
At 16 he flapped the unflappable Rene’ Descartes with a mathematics paper he published countering some of RD’s assertions.
By age 20 he created a calculator to help his father sort out regional tax records…pretty simple feat today, in the 1640s…not so much!
He also invented the syringe and hydraulic press…why not, those are handy to have around.
Later in life Pascal became a devout (even for France) Catholic which went a bit against the grain for a man of his occupation at the time. He explained his position with all of the spirituality you would expect from such a pragmatist and in the process pretty much invented decision theory:
Clearly defining risk, reward, and their interplay and its application to behavior was revolutionary. With infinite stakes any risk is too high.
Similar logic applied to customer facing tech gives us:
Eternal Commercial Damnation or Bliss is decided by only one god – the customer. The question becomes at what fraction of cost is it worth risking the wrath of a whole customer?
Cheaper is always available and is by definition incrementally less expensive. Your customer may not care or notice that you are spending less on their experience, then again, you may not find out until it is too late or not at all.
Remember, there are no unhappy customers…they just leave, they don’t tell you why, or even show you why…they simply cease being your customers and move on to the next option.
In every game, you must know what the stakes are before deciding on a strategy. When it comes to cost cutting, money isn’t what is at stake – Customers are.
Reach out with any questions, issues, insights, and especially disagreements. Monsieur Pascal would appreciate it!