It’s been a few months since I wrote my first blog on what we can learn from Mr Benn, so if you’re wondering who he is, then feel free to read Lessons from Mr Benn: No 1 and all will (hopefully) become clear.

If you’re still unsure, he’s the one in the suit of armour in the picture above.

I’d point out that he doesn’t always wear a suit of armour – it’s just for this story! And the other chap – in case you’re wondering – is the shopkeeper, who owns the costume shop that Mr Benn regularly frequents, and is where Mr Benn’s adventures start.

Each adventure that Mr Benn embarks upon carries a moral, and with a little poetic licence and imagination I’ve been linking these to the world of Customer Experience. For lesson No 2, I’m recalling…

Red Knight

In this story, Mr Benn chooses an an outfit of red knight’s armour. Changing into the armour, Mr Benn passes through the door in the shop’s changing room and finds himself in another world – with a strange rocky landscape.

He looks around and notices some smoke rising from behind some of these rocks, and looking behind them he finds a a big green dragon; at first thinks it is someone else in fancy dress, but he soon realises that it’s a real dragon – albeit a sad, weeping one.

He sits down next to the dragon and listens to its tale.

It turns out that the dragon used to light fires for everyone, and he was loved by everyone especially the King. One day a match-seller arrived in the kingdom, but couldn’t sell his matches as the dragon was lighting all the fires. The match-seller decided to set fire to some barns – seeing to it that the dragon got the blame.

The dragon was then hounded out of the kingdom, and went into hiding. To make matters worse the King’s favourite horse had run away at the same time, and everyone thought the dragon had kidnapped it – in fact he was looking after it but was too afraid to take it back tot the King- scared of what the King might do.

“Don’t worry” said Mr Benn, “I’ll help you”.

So Mr Benn climbed on the horse and rode into the castle; there was a great crowd to meet him – they were sure that he had rescued the horse and slain the dragon – and he was taken to see the King.

Mr Benn quickly told the King the truth and he is shocked and saddened. He orders that the match-seller be thrown into the dungeons and he goes with Mr Benn back tot the dragon, where he apologises and the dragon forgives him.

They return tot the castle and a great celebration takes place.

The shopkeeper then reappears and takes Mr Benn back to the changing room. Mr Benn returns to his normal life, but is left with a small souvenir of his adventure.


And the moral of the story is…


Only by listening to the what the dragon had to say, could Mr Benn begin to understand what had happened to make the dragon so upset.

Once he understood, he was then able to help.

It’s the same for your customers.

Most companies have a Voice of Customer (VoC) survey; it might look at customer satisfaction or use the (in)famous Net Promotor Score (NPS).

Some companies will focus on the score as this is all that matters to them.

Others will not only listen, but they will also look to understand the reason why a customer may feel a certain way about their products/services. They look to find out what customers like or dislike.

Only by doing this can businesses them take the final step and act of the feedback that their customers have given them. Without the understanding, you wont know where to focus – and you might be way off-target; after all your customers’ perceptions are just that – their opinion/point of view, and the chances are this will differ from your own.

So get out there and:

LISTEN – to your customers

UNDERSTAND – what they are telling you

ACT – takes steps to fix issues that they raise

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this time the ‘souvenir’ of Mr Benn’s adventure was a box of matches – decorated with a picture of a dragon.


UPDATE: 23 Sept

Look who has read my blog!