Templates 27 August 2015

Create a Customer Empathy Map in 6 Easy Steps!

Conceptboard customer empathy map service design on iPad tablet

Identifying who your customers are is great for your business, but it’s only the first step. To ensure that all marketing campaigns and materials you create will resonate with your target audience, you need to also know your ideal customer’s environment, who they are influenced by, what their pain points are, and their goals and challenges. 

Any good product, service or design is only good if it matches what a customer desires in the product.

This overwhelming collection of information can be easily organized with Empathy Maps. Going further than just creating a persona for your ideal customer, will help:

  1. to get a complete analysis of your targeted audience in a broader scale
  2. to align your campaigns and strategies with your products and services and your ideal customer
  3. to get a better understanding of which channels to focus on for a rewarding result
  4. having a visual representation will help you and your team understand what really matters

What is a Customer Empathy Map?

Create your own Empathy map in Conceptboard

Empathy maps are a gathering of information that depicts your ideal customer. As your team starts to gather data, it is important to know the difference between empathy and sympathy. Although the two words sound the same, they mean two different things. Empathy is when you feel and understand someone’s feelings, attitude, and experiences. It is the understanding of other’s experiences with everyday life events. Sympathy is related to feeling sorry for another person’s grief and troubles.

This map can come in various shapes and colors. Sticky notes are a common tool used, as it simplifies complicated data and can be color coded for better organization. But no matter what information is collected, the targeted audience is always placed in the center surrounded by 6 different components:

  1. How the customer thinks and feels
  2. What the customer hears
  3. What the customer sees
  4. What the customer says and does
  5. The customer’s pain
  6. The customer’s gain

We’ve created a template for you in Conceptboard so that you can work on empathy maps remotely with any of your teammates. Grab a copy at the bottom!

How your customer thinks and feels

Think and feel in Conceptboard

This section mainly focuses on the customer’s feelings which will give you a better idea of who your target audience is. Ask your team to find answers to what really matters to the customer, what their concerns are, how they react to certain things, if they are happy with your service or product, etc… Try to see from the perspective of the customer, and figure out what emotions they associate with your product.

What do your customers hear?

What your customers hears in Conceptboard

This section focuses solely on what or who influences your targeted audience. Do they listen more to familiar people that surround them like family and friends, or are they more persuaded by coworkers or strictly business related people.

It also focuses on how they get their information, through what means or channels. When collecting information on your customer, make sure to find these answers as it will give you a better idea on how your customer makes a decision.

What does your customer see?

What does your customer see?

Within this part of your map, you will get a better understanding of the environment of your customer. How they respond in private and public situations, if they respond differently or the same? Here, you can also ask your team to get more details on what your ideal customer is exposed to on a daily basis, what exactly is in their environment, and the problems that they are facing.

What does your ideal customer say and do?

What does your targeted customer say and do?

In this section, you will find all your answers to what your customer says to others, and their actions following these conversations. From there, you will be able to further understand if their words match their actions and what really matters to them. Place direct customer quotes in this section, and gather information on who your customer influences to have a better idea of your possible wider audiences.

What are your customer’s pains and gains?

Include your customer pains and gains in your Empathy map

You can choose to include these two lasts sections in your maps, the pains and gains of your customer. The Pains should include their fears, frustrations, and the obstacles they need to overcome. This section will include information as to why they are not able to reach their wants.

In the Gains section, you can find all information regarding the targeted customer’s success, and how they obtained it. This will also include their goals, wants, and needs; what exactly makes them happy on an everyday basis.

Customer Empathy Map Template

Online Customer Empathy Map for Service Design

Using your creative thinking for this map builds empathy towards your targeted audience to increase your knowledge on users’ needs and pain-points to help your design process. No matter if it focuses on a group of customers or just one person, try out your own Customer Empathy Map with our template!

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6 thoughts on “Create a Customer Empathy Map in 6 Easy Steps!

  1. Really Amazing! It is such a brilliant idea to create a customer empathy map to collect your valued customer’s data in an organized manner. Thanks for sharing a great article.

  2. I enjoyed this article, It’s a deeper dive on Empathy mapping.
    I like to use visuals as well as a counterbalance to all the text.

  3. Thanks for sharing this first part of Design Thinking approach. I work in area of eGovernance and trying to use Design Thinking to design government services for its citizens.

    1. Thank you for the great review, David! We’re happy you like the use of diagrams/maps. Thank you again for using Conceptboard.

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