So, today I did something new at work. I created an Empathy Map for a potential client. What is an Empathy Map, you’re wondering? I’ll explain it to you in a moment. Please have a look at the cute diagram below:
Empathy Maps are often used in business to understand the motivations of a potential client. It is like prepping yourself before asking out the girl/guy you have been swooning over for a long time. You want to know who they are, what they like and how you can impress them. You are the one with the merchandise, they are the buyers. You want to wrap your goods in the shiniest wrapper, before presenting it to your customer.
So what you do is you create an empathy map. You want to get into the head of the person you’re trying to impress. How? Well, you draw up something like in the figure above and fill the white portions with the following pointers:
- What does the prospective client/boyfriend/girlfriend, let’s call him/her X, think or feel?
- What do they hear? What do you hear about X from others?
- What does X see? What might X see in you?
- What does X usually say or do? Do you have any idea what a typical day in X’s life look like?
- What are the pain points in X’s life?
- What is X trying to gain in life?
To do this exercise to its maximum benefit, you must put yourself in X’s shoes and see/think/feel as X does. And hence, this map is called an empathy map.
empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another