empathy map example

How to Tackle Your Customers’ Needs by Creating an Empathy Map

As a company, your number one goal is clear: setting out to make the best products for your customers. Connecting with users is a key part of a business, and it’s essential to know how they think. Here at Bright Vessel, our favorite way to understand our users is by making an empathy map.

What Is An Empathy Map?

An empathy map is a tool to understand your users, their needs and their desires better. Some critical elements of an empathy map:

  • It’s a collaborative tool.
  • It’s comprised of four quadrants, reflecting key traits: what users Say, what they Think, what they Do and how they Feel.
  • It can represent a group of users. In that regard, it’s similar to a user persona.

Empathy Map

Let’s expand a little bit on each of these quadrants.

  • Say. It represents information the customer has said out loud during a previously conducted study, like a focus group or an interview. The section should include whatever users say specifically about your company, the industry or just what they want from what you offer.
  • Think. Here, the team should answer the question of what the user is thinking at each step of their experience. Using information from a previous study, figure out what’s on customers’ minds. While this quadrant may look similar to the Say one, keep in mind that there might be some things users aren’t willing to vocalize. Take everything into account, even uncertainty and politeness.
  • Do. How users behave in the face of your product or website. Do they browse different options? Do they prefer online shopping or going to the brick and mortar location? Research how your customers act.
  • Feel. This quadrant is where you figure out users’ emotional state when facing your company. You shouldn’t add anything very complicated, just a word and a short sentence. Are your customers impatient about something? Do your processes confuse them?

What’s the Use of an Empathy Map?

You should use this tool in those moments where you need to delve deeper into your customers’ heads. Some moments in which you can find empathy maps useful:

  • When you want to make a more detailed customer persona.
  • To better delineate your target.

How to Use An Empathy Map

The typical empathy map session occurs in person, although there are ways to do them remotely (more on that below). Here’s how the meeting would go:

  • Get your entire team in one room and have them bring relevant information from previous studies.
  • Print out a stretched version of the empathy map template, or draw it on a whiteboard.
  • Give everyone sticky notes and a marker.

The idea is that each team member should write down their contributions and add them to the relevant area of the map. Every time each person contributes, it’s essential that they give a short explanation of what’s on their minds, to clarify any doubts.

Some of the questions team members should be asking themselves for the empathy map exercise:

  • What’s on the minds and hearts of users? What keeps them up at night? What are their aspirations?
  • What would the people around the customer say about them using our products or services?
  • How does our product behave in the users’ everyday environment?
  • How do customers directly interact with our product? Would they act the same way whether they’re in public or in private?
  • Is something about our product making things harder for users?

Once everyone has chipped in, ask your team members what they’ve learned about your customers. Have an open group conversation about the new insights, adding any hypotheses on user behavior and feelings.

Empathy Mapping with Remote Teams

Traditionally, an empathy mapping session should occur with every team member physically present in one room. However, we know that current workspaces are flexible and ever-changing, and you may have team members working remotely. There’s a chance you don’t even have a physical office, and your team is in different parts of the world.

No worries – there’s an app for that! You can use the Innovation Games online experience!

At Bright Vessel, we specialize in bringing online solutions to companies in all industries. Whether you’re looking for WordPress management, help with your WooCommerce eStore or more, we can be a perfect match. Contact us for more information!