What’s a Customer Experience Narrative?

Scale the collection and analyzation of customer feedback with customer experience narratives.

A Customer Experience Narrative, or CxN, is the video-based feedback and results generated from a test session with a participant on the UserTesting platform. 

The customer experience (CX) is how a customer feels about interacting with your brand or product, so Customer Experience Narratives (CxNs), a term coined by UserTesting, is the dataset generated from feedback entries received through the UserTesting platform. Improving your customer experience is the goal, and CxNs are the customer experience metrics that help you do that. 

How do CxNs work? 

What can make data challenging isn’t just the collection process, but deciphering what to do with it. UserTesting CxNs offer more context and richer detail and data than simple video recordings—leading to better customer insights and actionable next steps. 

Usertesting’s proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence-powered analytics and visualizations—trained on usability datasets—process the datastreams generated in CxNs to speed up the process of absorbing customer feedback and turning it into action. 

UserTesting’s capture technology generates a CxN by processing four streams of data, including: 

  1. On-screen recordings of a persons’s physical or digital experience while using a product, app, or answering questions
  2. Voice through audio
  3. Facial expressions through video
  4. Digital properties, the related interactions through clickstream data

All of these combine with audience profile questions and task data to produce enhanced insights in the context of a user’s overall experience. And tight project deadlines aren’t a problem—more than 80% of CxNs complete within just a few hours. 

For more customization, you can interact with CxNs by adding tags and comments when you spot lightbulb moments—or splicing clips to turn into a highlight reel. These features help you uncover trends and patterns or build a persuasive case for stakeholders when optimizing your product or experience. 

Why are CxNs important?

CxNs are important because they’re fast, actionable moments of customer feedback. While data and analytics tell you what a customer is doing, they can’t tell you why. CxNs provide rich insight into the why behind common data points, such as sentiments, motivations, and expectations. 

Collecting customer feedback in the form of CxNs gives you insight into what might be lacking about your experience. Avoid making assumptions on behalf of your customers and contributing to the empathy gap, by connecting with them directly and getting a deeper understanding of how they think and feel.

While this list isn’t all-inclusive, here are some benefits of seeing, hearing from, and connecting with your customers: 

  • A better understanding of customer feedback’s influence and value 
  • Culture of customer empathy 
  • The validation of ideas and settling of internal debates 
  • Customer adoption, satisfaction, and loyalty 
  • Increased revenue and organizational growth 

If customer-centricity hasn’t become second nature to your organization, leveraging CxNs and knowing how to use them can get you on the fast track. Adding CxNs to your data arsenal can mean the difference between customer churn and retention and increasing your bottom line. 

Kate Thacker, principal product designer at USA TODAY, describes what customer feedback means to her work, “As a team, maturing our user testing process allows us to work on more projects and amplify the importance of talking to real users before launching something into the wild. We have other teams reaching out because they want to user test language and accessibility. It’s really a best-case scenario when your team’s work has demonstrated enough value, causing people to actively seek out your expertise.” 

Which test capabilities make up CxNs? 

Depending on your study and its needs, you may opt for some or all of the UserTesting test capabilities, including: 

  • Live Conversation: Face-to-face video conversations where you can draw insights, observe non-verbal cues, and ask open-ended questions 
  • Usability testing: A form of user research where test participants use your product to complete tasks and evaluate your product's functionality and user interface and design 
  • Brand and messaging testing: A type of testing that assesses your communications and positioning to validate if you’ve hit the mark 
  • Card sorting: A qualitative research method used to group, label, and describe information more effectively based on customer feedback 
  • Tree testing: A research method used to help you understand where people get lost finding content or information on your website 

How can I manage my CxNs audience with UserTesting? 

When planning audience management and recruitment, the heavy lifting is done for you. You can collect insights from either broad or specific sets of contributors using the platform’s global Contributor Network, Custom Network, Invite Network, or customer communities. 

Additionally, the platform takes all the administrative work off your hands, including audience recruitment, profile management, payments, support, and more—leaving you more time to focus on getting more feedback. 

How Canva turned CxNs into high customer satisfaction and growth

Global design platform, Canva, firmly believes graphic design should be accessible and non-intimidating to all, even beginners. The organization leverages UserTesting in the early stages of conducting exploratory research to pinpoint areas of improvement. And it’s not solely one or two teams across Canva that relies on the UserTesting platform, throughout our partnership, Canva has run thousands of projects. In the last few years alone, Canva’s amount of CxNs has increased 500%, resulting in more than 16,000 CxNs that contribute to a better onboarding experience, design experience, improved advertising, and more.


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