How to Use an Ecommerce Customer Journey Empathy Map [Worksheet]
April 8, 2020
April 8, 2020
We start every project by interviewing and observing current and potential customers to better understand their pain points and aspirations. As we sift through pages of raw notes, sketches, audio/video files and photos, we use the empathy map to glean the juicy parts.
An empathy map is a helpful tool that is often used by brands as part of a customer journey mapping initiative. Customer journey mapping is a key process that ecommerce brands can implement to understanding their customer’s experience while engaging with their website or products. It can help shed light on obstacles that may be preventing shopping from converting into customers.
In this post, you’ll learn what an empathy map is and how to use it as part of your ecommerce customer journey mapping process. As a bonus, you can download our free empathy map worksheet below and start using it today.
First, let’s learn what a customer journey empathy map is.
A customer journey empathy map is a single-page document, like our example below. Your team members fill out each quadrant as they observe customers engaging with your website or product.
It contains four key sections:
Say: What the customer says aloud during interviews about their experiences with your brand? I.e., “How do I see what I have in my cart?” or “The checkout process was really fast.”
Do: What specific actions you observed the customer take during the process? I.e., The customer clicked on the category link, then clicked on the women’s clothing category.
Think: What the possible thoughts are that your interviews and data suggest that the customer may have been thinking during the process? You won’t know exactly what they think unless they tell you, but you can infer by studying their body language and listening to what they say to give clues to what they may be thinking. I.e., “The customer’s complaints about the checkout process taking a long time suggest that he didn’t think the experience with our brand was great.”
Feel: What do you think the customer felt while interacting with your brand, and what may have been causing them to feel that way? I.e., “The customer seemed frustrated when the shopping cart wasn't updating properly.”
Using an empathy map during a journey mapping initiative is fairly straightforward.
Step 1: First, decide what behaviors you plan to observe your customers doing. For example, if your goal is to improve your user’s shopping experience, you may want to observe potential customers shopping and purchasing a product on your website. If your goal is to understand how customers use a product, you may want to observe them unboxing and using it. Your goal will determine which behaviors you should observe.
Step 2: Have several team members observe your customers engaging in the behaviors by conducting focus groups, interviews, and surveys. These approaches will help you understand how customers perceive their experiences with your brand. You can try one approach by itself, all three, or any combination you prefer.
Step 3: Have your team members document their observations of the participants in the empathy map worksheet so you can gather what they say, do, think, and feel while engaging with your brand.
Step 4: Analyze your team’s findings so you can begin to form an impression of what the customer experience is like for your brand today. Look for specific themes or recurring patterns to shape your next steps and strategies to improve the customer experience with your brand.
Step 5: Make any adjustments to your ecommerce site you feel are important based on the data you gathered. If possible, repeat the observation process with customers after making the updates to see if the experience has been improved. If not, keep refining until you reach your goal.
Want to get started with your empathy mapping process? Download our ecommerce customer journey mapping tool today.
Using an empathy map in the customer journey mapping process is an exercise your brand can, and should, plan to do on a consistent schedule. In the world of ecommerce, customer expectations and technology change quickly. Place a high value on your relationship with your customers by actively listening to their feedback when they share their experiences with you. The faster you can respond, adapt, and elevate their user experience with your brand, the more likely they are to grow into raving fans.