🗺 Empathy Map | Toolbox #7

3 min readJun 29, 2021

To satisfy a customer, put yourself in their shoes

The empathy map is used to improve customer experience. To do this, you’ll put yourself in the shoes of a typical customer in order to understand their feelings and needs.

This workshop was created by Dave Gray, a Visual Thinking specialist who was inspired by a game called “Empathy Map Game”. It has become famous in the context of Agile management, and has been modernized over time to become what we know today.

🧠 Who: a team of 3 to 10 people
When: at the beginning of the project (implementation, changes, new service…)
Duration: 50 min
Objective: understand your customers’ expectations

The course of the meeting

1️⃣ Workshop presentation🎯 (5 min)

Take a few minutes to explain the context to your team. Indeed, in this exercise you’ll have to put yourself in the place of a client that you’ll develop yourself.

2️⃣ Developing a persona 🧑 (5 min)

The first step is to define this customer. Give him all the characteristics that correspond with your target. Imagine THE person you want to have as a customer:

Is it a man or a woman?
What’s your persona’s name?
How old is he/she?
What does he do for a living?
What’s his current situation?
What’s his role?

3️⃣ Idea generation💡 (10 min)

The participants will then put themselves in the persona’s shoes and fill in the post-its.
To simplify the sharing of ideas, 1 box = 1 color of post-it.

🟨 What do they think and feel?
— What are his problems? (fears, frustrations, obstacles)
— What are his needs? (wishes, dreams)

🟩 What do they see?
— What is in his immediate environment?
— What are the people around him doing?
— What does he read?
— What types of videos/series/movies does he watch?

🟪 What do they say and do?
— What is his daily life like?
— How does he behave?

🟧 What do they hear?
— What do the people around him say?

🟦 What does he need?
— What does he need to change?
— What would he like to do?
— What does he think are the signs of success?

🟥 What are his problems/constraints/obstacles?

4️⃣ Pooling 🧠 (30 min)

Each member of the team then places their post-its on the board.
This vote will allow you to discuss the common answers and to analyze those that are completely different.

If some boxes remain empty, try to understand why. Is the problem with you? What can you do about it?

3 goods reasons to use the Empathy Map 👍

  • Understand the environment of your customer in order to offer him a suitable product or experience.
  • Find the right way to communicate in order to reach your target.
  • Understand and solve problems identified during the customer journey.

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