Customer Empathy Map

How to see the world through the eyes of your customers:-

The Empathy mapping tool will give you a deeper understanding of your customer's experience. Understanding people is the most valuable skill you can develop in business. Being able to look into their context and see the world through their eyes will help you remove cognitive bias and help your business truly help your customers achieve their goals.


Empathy Mapping is a design exercise a business can use to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences their customers have in relation to the businesses offering. It uses the Empath Map design tool to understand a customer's touchpoints during the process of customer journey mapping. I believe it is crucial to first understand your customer by undertaking the exercise of persona development before undertaking Empathy Mapping.



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:


  • to get a complete analysis of your targeted audience on a broader scale

  • to align your campaigns and strategies with your products and services and your ideal customer

  • to get a better understanding of which channels to focus on for a rewarding result

  • having a visual representation will help you and your team understand what really matters

What is a customer empathy map:-

An empath map is a tool used by user experience designers, customer experience designers, startup founders and innovation professionals that creates an understanding of the emotional and functional context of a user while undertaking an action. These actions can be referred to as touchpoints which are part of customer experience.


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:

  • How the customer thinks and feels

  • What the customer hears

  • What the customer sees

  • What the customer says and does

  • The customer’s pain

  • The customer’s gain

Getting Started:-

How customer thinks and feels 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 customer hear 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.

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 customer see?

What does your ideal customer says and do 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 whom your customer influences to have a better idea of your possible wider audiences.

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.


Empathy Mapping is a great way to get a snapshot of the experience someone is having in any one moment. Understanding the sensory input and what is happening to them is key to helping them navigate in fulfilling their jobs, and ultimately, their goals.


Tools to use

  • Whiteboard

  • Whiteboard markers

  • Butchers paper

  • Digital templates

Most practical process

First sketch out the Empathy Map on a whiteboard or butchers paper and refine, before adding to the above template.​​


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