Empathy Map: Start From Your Customers

By | January 15, 2015

Most start up companies invest big amount of money to develop the product, service, and business innovation, but sometimes they forget to put customers perspective on it. Successful business model needs a deep understanding of the customers, not only what they want, but also their social environment, their concern, aspiration, habit, and much more.

The best place to start is by using Empathy Map, a tool that developed by XPLANE. Empathy Maps helps you synthesize your observations, even draw out unexpected insights. You can practice it with your stakeholders or your internal team to strategically analyze the desires and needs of the market and find the ways to improve your offering.

The map consists of six fundamental area, that can be developed into 27 specific questions that guide you to dig deeper.

customer empathy map

1. Describe What They See In Their Environment

What does it look like? Who surrounds them? Who are their friends? What types of offers are they exposed to daily? What problem do they encounter?

2. Describe How The Environment Influences Them

What do their friends say? Their spouse? Who really influences them, and how? Which media channel are influential?

3. Try To Sketch Out What Goes On In Their Mind

What is really important to them? Imagine their emotions, what moves them? What might keep them up at night? Try describing their dreams and aspirations.

4. Imagine What They Might Say Or How They Might Behave In Public

What is their attitude? What could they be telling others? Is there any potential conflicts between what they might say and what they may think or feel?

5. What is Their Pain?

What are their biggest frustrations? What obstacles stand between them and what they want or need to achieve? Which risks might they fear taking?

6. What Do They Gain?

What does they truly want or need to achieve? How do they measure success? What strategies they might use to achieve their goals?

Through the extensive collaboration and visual organization involved in this tool, you are able to get deeper understanding about what customers exactly want from your company.

Or course, an empathy map is just one of many other ways to research your customers. In some cases, you can develop empathy for your customers by involving yourself in their lives for several days, weeks, or even months. You could also simply be your ideal customer.

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