Customer Empathy Map. How to answer the 7 questions.

Introduction

With the Customer Empathy Map you will have a detailed knowledge of your readers that will help you write better posts and will also help you to have loyal readers.

You already have the topic of the blog selected; you have in mind what you want to express on the blank sheet but how do you write in a way so that your readers will fall in love with you?

The answer is to investigate them to know them, know what they like, what they don’t like, what their goals in life are and why they should read you.

It is difficult to achieve the aim of making readers fall in love with you; it takes time to investigate them; it takes time to know their tastes, but nothing is impossible. 

So today I will let you know how to write to your future readers: above all, they have to feel that you are writing to help them and solve the problems that have taken them to your blog.

Segment the market before doing a Customer Empathy Map

Before you learn about the tool to get to know your audience, remember to first segment the target group.

Typically, you can do a segmentation like this:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • City or country
  • Economic income
  • Job
  • If they are married, single, widowed, divorced.
  • If they have children or do not have children.

Demographic segmentation will help you a lot to know where to direct your effort and energy.

Customer Empathy Map

The XPLANE company created the Customer Empathy Map to get to know the public we want to reach.

According to Dave Gray of XPLANE:   

This particular tool helps teams develop a deep, shared understanding and empathy for other people.

People use it to help them improve customer experience, to navigate organizational politics, to design better work environments, and a host of other things.

With the Customer Empathy Map, you go one step further than the typical demographic segmentation you saw earlier.

What is the goal of this tool?

According to the book Gamestorming, the goal of the Customer Empathy Map is to develop a customer or user profile.

A Customer Empathy Map should answer the following questions:

Customer-empathy-map

To make a correct Customer Empathy Map, you must do an investigation of your future readers and this investigation shouldn’t only be based on your pre-established beliefs.

Doing excellent research will make you know your readers well and you will develop a good Customer Empathy Map.

Assembling this marketing tool

Brainstorming: Identify all the different readers or customers you want to reach 

Choose 3 segments: From the selection, you must choose one for the first profile creation exercise.

Create a profile: Assign the reader a name and a series of characteristics.

Answer the 7 questions:

Who are you empathizing with?

  • What is the situation they are in?
  • What is their role in the situation?
  • Who is the person we want to understand?

What do they need to do?

  • What do they need to do differently?
  • What job-(s) do they want or need to get done?
  • What decision-(s) do they need to make?
  • How will we know they were successful?

What do they see?

  • What do they see in the marketplace?
  • What do they see in their immediate environment?
  • What do they see others saying and doing?
  • What are they watching and reading?

What do they say?

  • What can we hear them say?
  • What can we imagine them saying?

What do they do?

  • What do they do today?
  • What behavior have we observed?
  • What can we imagine them doing?

What do they hear?

  • What are they hearing others say?
  • What are they hearing from friends?
  • What are they hearing from colleagues?
  • What are they hearing second hand?

What do they think and feel?

Pains

  • What are their fears, frustrations, and anxieties?

Gains

  • What are their wants, needs, hopes and dreams?

What other thoughts and feelings might motivate their behavior?

Once you have made this analysis, we get a solid knowledge of our reader, their environment, concerns, behaviors, expectations, and decisions, which will help us answer:

  • What value proposition does the reader expect?
  • What are the distribution channels on which you expect us to connect with the reader?
  • How much is the reader willing to pay for our services and / or products?
  • What brand/customer relationship do you want us to establish with the reader?

And this will help to know the reader’s needs by opening the way to creativity, innovation, fresh business opportunities, and better connections.

How to use it

According to Dave Gray of XPLANE you must use the Customer Empathy Map this way:

  1. Start with the GOAL section, by defining WHO will be the subject of the Customer Empathy Map and a goal: something they need to DO. This should be framed in terms of an observable behavior.
  2. Once you have clarified the goal, work your way clockwise around the canvas, until you have covered Seeing, Saying, Doing, and Hearing. The reason for this is that the process of focusing on observable phenomena (things that they see, say, do and hear) is like walking a mile in their shoes. It gives us a chance to imagine what their experience might be like, to give us a sense of what it “feels like to be them.”
  3. Only AFTER you have made the circuit of outside elements do you focus on what’s going on inside their head. I’ve noticed that Customer Empathy Map templates do not leave space inside the head at the center of the Customer Empathy Map, and instead put the “Think and Feel” categories on the periphery of the map. The large head in the center is one of the most important aspects of the map’s design. In fact, we used to call this exercise “The Big Head” when we first started doing it, because the whole idea was to imagine what it’s like to be inside someone else’s head. That was and is the primary power of the exercise.

Let’s make a Customer Empathy Map

Official template: Here

This is a template I made for you in Google Drawings, please make a copy and then use it: Here

Ok, it’s time for us to make the Customer Empathy Map.

I will make an example Customer Empathy Map about Daenerys Targaryen “Khaleesi” to make it more understandable.

empathy map daenerys

After making the Customer Empathy Map you have to create a story to better understand your reader, like this:

Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

Danerys had to escape the attack on her parents at an early age with her brother, which left her traumatized.

She grew up hearing her brother say that he is the rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms and that they will return home very soon.

She saw how her brother sought a husband for her so he could have an army and recover his throne.

Eventually, she fell in love with her husband but he died of an infection.

She wonders why she has been chosen to rule the Seven Kingdoms, and feels that she must be aggressive to show everyone that she could do the job.

She sees everywhere that people want to betray her, and so she can only trust a few people; everyone wants the throne she has inherited.

She only listens to the few people who enjoy her trust since she only hears rumors from the Kingdom.

She seeks allies because she knows she cannot reach the capital of the Kingdom alone and seeks to always be strong and confident.

Her parents’ and husband’s death still hurts, so she always feels lonely. That’s why she wants to gain strength and confidence.

Analysis of this example

After writing the story, in this case of Daenerys, you can analyze what I have written.

You can see that Daenerys has a lot of pain inside her; after the death of her husband she has no more direct family.

She lets very few people into her close circle; she doesn’t trust people.

You also see that she has a powerful personality, or that is what she wants everybody to think of her.

After this quick analysis you have to ask yourselves:

  • How will I write for Daenerys?
  • What content will she consider of value?
  • How can I make her love my blog?

Answering each question seriously and in detail, you will have the necessary information to write content for your blog.

Here, you should write for a girl who has enormous pain in her soul.

You have to think of topics that help her cope with the pain she has.

Taking her as an example, you will also have to write topics about friendship or about internal healing.

Every time you answer the questions after having investigated again, you will empathize with your reader and write quality content that engages them.

In this part of this post you are already seeing the importance of this tool called the Customer Empathy Map because it allows you to get to know your reader.

Now we will make a more interesting Customer Empathy Map

Let’s imagine that we are the owners of a cinema with several rooms to screen different types of films.

In our cinema we screen films by independent filmmakers, we screen commercial Hollywood movies, and we screen classic movies.

Also in our cinema, we have a well-stocked snack shop where we have promotions for the customers.

We must remember that the snack shop is the principal source of income for the cinema.

Let’s analyze: how many types of customers does the cinema have?

We have:

  • The client who goes alone to the cinema without friends.
  • The couple in love.
  • The family: Dad, Mom and children.
  • The movie buff who likes independent movies and goes alone.
  • The group of friends who go to the movies every week without fail.
  • The older couple who go to the movies to have a wonderful time.

The cinema has different types of clients, and for each type of client we have to do a Customer Empathy Map to be able to differentiate promotions per client.

In this case we will make the Customer Empathy Map for the client who goes to the movies without friends.

We will call him Adrian. He is 35 years old, has a permanent job and lives alone in a pleasant apartment. He likes to go to the movies often and is attentive to the premieres of the week. Currently he is without a partner. He goes to the movies alone because all his friends are in a loving relationship.

empathy map cine

After making the Customer Empathy Map you have to make a story to better understand your reader:

Adrian is 35 years old, he has a very good job in a transnational company. He has a single apartment in the best area of ​​the city.

His life is his work. He used to go out with his friends every weekend but now he is the only bachelor of the group and prefers to look for activities that he can do alone.

Among those activities is going to the movies. Going to the movies every week to see a movie relaxes him and makes him forget about work. He always buys something at the cinema snack shop.

Every morning before going to the office he goes to the gym and then for a coffee at Starbucks.

He tells his close friends that he feels good without a relationship and that he is planning a trip to Europe.

He also tells his friends that he would like to be an entrepreneur in the future and work from home.

What he doesn’t tell his friends is that he’s started using dating apps to meet people because he doesn’t enjoy being single.

He spends a lot of time with his family on Sundays and for Adrian, success is measured by the money he can earn daily, if possible.

Analysis of this Customer Empathy Map

After this story of Adrian we can see that he hides from his friends and family that he does not like being single.

We can also analyze that he goes to the cinema without friends to relax and that he always buys something in the snack shop.

Adrian has money and a good apartment, but he feels alone — that is why he has used dating apps to meet people.

We as owners of the cinema must ask ourselves:

  • What can we offer Adrian so he only comes to our cinema?
  • How can we make Adrian a loyal customer of our cinema?
  • What offers in the snack shop can we offer to a person who comes alone to the cinema?

By answering these questions we can generate an empathy with Adrian that will serve as an example to improve the sales of our cinema.

In this example, we have to make offers for an audience that goes to the movies without friends.

Perhaps in the premium rooms, we can offer individual seats.

More and more people are going to the movies without friends and they like spending time alone.

We can also make our cinema a meeting point for people who use apps to meet people.

Empathizing with our audience will allow us to have better ideas for blog topics or to improve our products or the services we offer.

Conclusions for the Customer Empathy Map

If you do not generate empathy with your readers, you will not have faithful readers for your blog.

In this digital world, generating empathy is vital to making quality content that connects with your reader and always makes them return to your blog.

You must always think empathy = more loyal readers to your blog.

To achieve an effective Customer Empathy Map, you must have a mind free of prejudice.

You should do a lot of research before making a Customer Empathy Map.

If it is possible you can do it with a group of friends, in this way you will get several points of view to get to know your readers.

Remember that you seek to put yourselves in the place of your readers to write correctly and make them fall in love with your blog.

You should always put a name on your future reader. Giving them a name will help you generate more empathy.

You should also research to create the story after making the Customer Empathy Map.

For example, in the cinema’s example you should go to the cinema and look at how people behave, how they move in the cinema, and what they buy in the cinema, so you will have more details to make a good story.

In this digital age you feel that everything happens quickly, that leads you to forget to generate empathy with people.

If you want to have a blog with good organic Google traffic, you can do it if you generate empathy with your reader.

Let’s practice empathy with people every day.

Finally, a good Customer Empathy Map will help you have a successful blog.

You can learn all about blogging by visiting: How to start a blog: A great and practical beginner’s guide.

General FAQs

What is an empathy map?

According to Dave Gray of XPLANE: This particular tool helps teams develop a deep, shared understanding and empathy for other people.

What is the goal of the Empathy Map?

According to the book Gamestorming, the goal of the Empathy Map is to develop a customer or user profile.

How many questions does the empathy map have?

The empathy map has 7 questions:
1) Who are we empathizing with?
2) What do they need to do?
3) What do they see?
4) What do they say?
5) What do they do?
6) What do they hear?
7) What do they think and feel?

How to use the Empathy Map

According to Dave Gray of XPLANE, we must use the Empathy Map this way:   

1. Start with the GOAL section, by defining WHO will be the subject of the Empathy Map and a goal: something they need to DO.

2. Once you have clarified the goal, work your way clockwise around the canvas, until you have covered Seeing, Saying, Doing, and Hearing.

3. Only AFTER you have made the circuit of outside elements do you focus on what’s going on inside their head.

What should I do after answering the 7 questions on the empathy map?

With the questions answered you must write a story about your customer.