Empathy Map

Your customer in focusjsdhgfsi

customers and waiter with notepad or restaurant


Collaboratively build a shared understanding of a target group for your product or service.


We are working hard to develop new features, products or services, but does this make our customer happy? Have we looked into his head enough to see where the real pain or needs lie? Only when we have a clear picture of these, can we make optimal choices that really help the customer.



A short overview of the Customer Empathy Map, developed by XPLANE. This is a useful tool that helps businesses better understand their customers.

What can a simple cup of coffee tell us about customer value?

To Work

You create an Empathy Map to build more empathy with your users or customers together with your team and stakeholders. The Empathy Map helps to get inside the mind of your customers and understand what drives them. You do this by visualizing what the customer sees, hears, does and thinks.

A dialogue sheet is available for this technique. A dialogue worksheet is a large sheet with questions that help the team to independently go through the steps for the technique.

  1. Place the dialogue worksheet on a table for the team members to sit around. At step 1 place the manual “Working with a dialogue sheet.”
  2. Read the manual “Working with a worksheet,” if you have not worked with a worksheet before.
  3. Go through the worksheet step by step, with the team members taking turns reading and facilitating a step.


You find a more elaborate description of this technique in section 8.4 Empathy Map of our book Connective Teamwork (EN, NL). The book helps you set your team in motion with a practical 5-step plan and 20 teamwork techniques.

You can learn more about and practice this technique in our Connective Team Coach Training Course.

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Coffee break conversations

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