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A Customer Empathy Map is a strategic tool that is used to develop a thorough understanding of the customer or client who will be using a new product or service. More specifically, an empathy map forces individuals who are part of innovation or marketing teams to consider customer attitudes towards the product or service and their behavioral response to it. The empathy map should be created at the outset of any product development process. However, it should be constantly adapted as the team accumulates more client knowledge. The four quadrants of the Empathy Map are what the client 1) Says 2) Thinks 3) Feels and 4) Does.
Description of Empathy Map
An Empathy Map should be created for any new product or service developed by the organization because it helps to ensure that every team member has a unified perspective on who the product or service is being created for. By encapsulating knowledge about the user of the product or service, the organization will be able to identify what it does not yet know about its clientele and easily organize information (e.g., research, interview transcripts, survey results etc.) about its customers. Further, client information can easily be transmitted to other relevant parties.
An Empathy Map requires five steps:
- Define the breadth of the Empathy Map and the overall goal that it will serve to achieve. In this step, consider what client base the Empathy Map will be about and what organizational purpose the Empathy Map is being created to fulfill. A separate Empathy Map should be created for each segment of the organization’s clientele.
- Gather customer information. This step requires an abundance of qualitative information about the customers in the form of interviews, daily diary entries, open-ended surveys etc.
- Place the information into its respective quadrant on the Empathy Map. This step should only occur after each team member has individually digested all of the information that was gathered. Each team member should then write out the most salient information on a post-it note and place it on the map.
- Identify themes within the quadrants. Create themes on the empathy map by identifying which post-it notes are similar to each other. This step requires discussion amongst team members with the ultimate goal to reach a shared understanding of each quadrant among the entire team. Then, determine what information still needs to be obtained and why certain pieces of information did not fit in a theme.
- Adapt the map. Add more information to the map as you fill in the gaps in knowledge or add more detail to existing information.
When creating a Customer Empathy Map, be sure that it addresses the following:
- What the client hopes the product or service will be
- Client concerns about and perceived risks of using the product or service
- How others might describe the product or service to the client and what aspects of the product or service is likely to generate the most “buzz.”
- How might the product or service fit into the client’s daily activity
- What the client would say to others about the product or service
- Desires benefits from using the product or service
Praxie's Online Customer Empathy Map Tools & Templates
Praxie’s online Customer Empathy Map collaboration tool allows any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Get started with our Customer Empathy Map template.
How to use it:
- Complete the customer empathy map based on what you know about your target customer.
- Update this map as you conduct research and gain additional insight.
- Create an action plan based on how you will approach and implement your Customer Empathy Map.
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