Empathy through experience mapping

Following on from my post on using experience maps and journey maps, I’ve been thinking how to explain why the two artefacts themselves are important in their own, distinct right – and, specifically, why the experience mapping element is vital, especially in large corporate environments, where it is crucial to imbue empathy to drive customer centric business growth.

Experience mapping forces us to focus on the customer’s experiences throughout their journey… not just the journey itself.

Experience mapping forces bias towards how the customer is feeling and thinking; their emotions and drivers of behaviour. It helps us to build empathy and really get under the skin of customers as human beings. An experience map can be abstracted from segments and services and products, and forces us to think and feel as a customer would when they engage with us.

Journey mapping, alone, is too functional an approach; and focuses us too much on touchpoints and channels. Journey mapping can become complex when lenses such as segments, products and services are applied. This abstraction from the experience can cloud how we should craft and shape our interactions with customers.

While, without a doubt, very important, I contend that it’s vital to understand the drivers of behaviour as much, if not more, as the journey itself. This allows us to understand how a customer wants to feel, and how we can build experiences to make them feel this way.