Testing Culture at Evolytics

To some, testing isn’t just a tool for business answers, it’s a way of life

It’s no surprise to the Evolytics team that testing is an integral theme in bestselling entrepreneurial literature such as “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries or “All In Startup” by Diana Kander.

The most trustworthy and reliable way to get customer feedback is through testing. There are too many situational and psychological biases that make it difficult for consumers to give accurate answers to hypothetical survey questions. Want an example?

Testing into the perfect office coffee order

We conducted a qualitative survey for our HR department trying to optimize office snack offerings and operational efficiencies. The survey results came back asking for the biodegradable K-cups because the employees said they wanted to be more sustainable. We then tested this optimization only to find that the biodegradable K-cups went relatively unused, and we were running out of normal K-cups early. Given what the survey results indicated what employees wanted, the HR department found the test results confounding.

We collected more data and found that employees felt the biodegradable options lost freshness when stored in the same easily accessible containers as the other K-cups. The second test iteration evolved to include an airtight container for the biodegradable options, but employees still showed preference to the less sustainable K-cups.

We watched employees who used the biodegradable K-cups to understand how the experience was different. We found that because there was only one container, the employees had to search through to find their preferred roast, and the experience took more than 3x as long as those employees who simply chose a less sustainable K-cup from the drawer.

The final test iteration included multiple airtight storage containers to speed up the coffee selection process.

What are the business implications of testing into decisions?

How does office coffee selection relate back to testing? The initial survey results weren’t wrong, but they were misleading. Employees do value sustainability, but not more than they value their time. Imagine the implications of this if, rather than one company’s HR department, this was a consumer package goods company redesigning their product line to better align with the values and preferences of millions of consumers. Going to market with an untested product is an expensive and unnecessary risk.

If you’re trying to instill the values of testing in your organizational culture, begin by questioning assumptions on big bets. Ask “what do we need to believe for this to be true,” then test everything you can before you take that leap.

As employees see results roll in and new hypotheses form, they will learn not to take assumptions for granted, and they will begin to constantly ask why, uncovering more and more actionable consumer insights.

Moreover, it is also no secret that reaching out to employees for feedback is incredibly valuable. Human resources teams can learn so much about the dynamics of the workplace by providing employees with a qualitative survey, such as whether or not they should evaluate your employee training program to see if they can implement any changes that can make the process more enjoyable, worthwhile and informative. As such, HR departments should be encouraged, where possible, to conduct similar tests to get a better and more thorough understanding of which processes work and which don’t.

Above all, it is no secret that employees that feel understood are much more likely to stick around and this can have a profound impact on staff turnover. With this in mind, if you would like to learn more about the importance of keeping employee turnover as low as possible, you can click here.

To wrap up, successful entrepreneurs – those who are creating companies from scratch as well as those who are innovating solutions for well established brands – understand the power of testing, and they test everything.

Need help getting your company in a testing mindset? At Evolytics we have multiple testing packages that can help your team get in the right testing mindset.

Written By

Krissy Tripp

Krissy Tripp, Director of Decision Science, strives to empower her clients to make use of their data, drawing from a variety of disciplines: experimentation, data science, consumer psychology, and behavioral economics. She has supported analytic initiatives for brands such as Sephora, Intuit, and Vail Resorts.