Chatbots and voice strategies! How attractions can obtain maximum value from both. With Roy Murphy

In today’s Skip the Queue podcast episode, I speak with Roy Murphy from Synthetic, the chatbot and voice agency.

We discuss the opportunity for exciting voice strategies for attractions, and also how attractions can derive maximum value from chatbots.

“In essence it is really like having a conversation with a customer, and that can be automated, so you don’t have to have your call-centre staff on board. If you’re a small business as well with a single site attraction, this can all be automated very simply and very quickly.”

What will you learn from this podcast?

  • The opportunity for exciting voice strategies for attractions
  • How attractions can derive maximum value from chatbots

To listen to the full podcast, search Skip The Queue on iTunes, Google Podcasts and Spotify to subscribe. You can find links to every episode and more at www.rubbercheese.com/podcast.

You can also read the full transcript below.

The interview

Your host, Kelly Molson

Our guest, Roy Murphy

Kelly Molson: Roy, welcome to the Skip The Queue podcast, it’s good to have you on today.

Roy Murphy: Hello Kelly, looking forward to talking to you on the legendary Skip The Queue podcast. This will be a great conversation.

Kelly Molson: You are very kind indeed. Now as you know, you’ve listened to a few of these episodes and you know that I start off with a few icebreaker questions, which you don’t get to prep. Are you ready?

Roy Murphy: As ready as I’ll ever be. 

Kelly Molson: Okay. All right, what is the worst job that you’ve ever had?

Roy Murphy: The worst job I’ve ever had is probably when I was very young on a Pitch and Putt golf course, not because the Pitch and Putt wasn’t bad as a summer job, it was pretty cool, I quite enjoyed my job, but it was in a small hut in Wellington Island in Braze in South Dublin in Ireland many years ago, and the problem with the job was that it was in a small hut on the seafront outside a pub, and after the pub, everyone would come into the hut and kick it in and not only take the golf equipment out onto the kind of fairway in front of the promenade, then also do some not very nice things and use it as a toilet.

Kelly Molson: Oh no, oh that’s horrible.

Roy Murphy: So for that reason, that is … I’ve got a few other ones, but that’s probably my top of the list I think.

Kelly Molson: Oh God.

Roy Murphy: Let’s move on.

Kelly Molson: So yeah let’s … shall we? 

Roy Murphy: Let’s move on.

Kelly Molson: Sorry.

Roy Murphy: Anyway, I told you that, it’s awful, isn’t it?

Kelly Molson: Sounds dreadful. Sorry I’m just really having a chuckle, I feel bad that I’m laughing at your unfortunate job. 

Roy Murphy: It’s all right.

Kelly Molson: Okay.

Roy Murphy: My hands are clean now though. My hands are clean now, it’s fine. 

Kelly Molson: Good that, hygiene is very important.

Roy Murphy: Yeah.

Kelly Molson: Which cartoon character do you wish was real?

Roy Murphy: Oh, Tasmanian Devil.

Kelly Molson: Yeah.

Roy Murphy: Just for the mayhem, I think. I just love … I loved it as a kid, I’m not sure if it’s appropriate now in terms of the name and so on, but just that whole kind of whirling dervish, and let it loose on various politicians.

Kelly Molson: Yeah. If you had your own late-night talk show, who would be the first person that you’d invite on as a guest?

Roy Murphy: Andrew Ridgeley. 

Kelly Molson: For what reason?

Roy Murphy: I read his biography last year and I found it absolutely fascinating. I love those stories behind the fame, and actually, it came across that he was actually quite talented. You wouldn’t have thought that from his public persona, but actually as a songwriter and a musician he gets kind of a bad rep, you know, George Michael, God bless, was so talented and popular, and I actually … I think the stories behind the stories are sometimes more interesting, so I’d like to have him on and tell his side of the story face-to-face.

Kelly Molson: That would be a great guest. I have to say that I was a massive Wham! fan so I would be watching that.

Roy Murphy: Shows your age a bit.

Kelly Molson: I know, I can’t help it. Tell me something that is true that almost nobody agrees with you on, so your unpopular opinion.

Roy Murphy: Oh, I’ve got lots of those. 

Kelly Molson: Oh, I’m intrigued.

Roy Murphy: I like being contrary. So I pose it that winter doesn’t exist. I have a theory.

Kelly Molson: You need to explain this theory because it feels very wintery at the moment.

Roy Murphy: Well, I’m not a flat-earther, but I have a theory. Let me run it past you. Typically there’s four seasons in a year, I get that, and my own way of thinking is … and I’m an optimist and I hate winter, by the way, just to set the groundwork. So summer doesn’t end until September in my book, right? Because ultimately you always want an Indian summer, and September’s still summer in my book. Autumn is October, November, and part of December because October, November are kind of autumn-ish, and December is a month of Fridays, right? So December isn’t winter either. 

On the 21st of December, it’s the winter equinox, and it gets lighter one minute per day, so therefore by the time you’re into the 21st of December, forget about Christmas, that’s always fun, by the time you get to first of January, the days are getting lighter every day by a minute, therefore winter doesn’t exist. Discussed.

Kelly Molson: I’m going to disagree, but I’m going to do it based … I know where you’re going, I understand where you’re going with the equinox, but the winter … the weather in January is horrendous and you could not associate that with any other month, other than winter. 

Roy Murphy: Disagree. 

Kelly Molson: Like it’s always miserable, it’s always really super cold, it normally snows.

Roy Murphy: I see your point, but I’m an absolute optimist and I’m not having it. Winter is a construct, doesn’t exist, and we’re already into spring, so I’m skipping winter.

Kelly Molson: I feel like we all need to do that this year.

Roy Murphy: Every year.

Kelly Molson: So maybe we should just all agree with you.

Roy Murphy: Every year. This year in particular.

Kelly Molson: January is my birthday month, which is really tough, nobody ever has any money, everyone’s a bit miserable, the weather’s rubbish, so maybe we should all just skip January and then I’ll have a birthday later on in the summer.

Roy Murphy: You’ll thank me for it, Kelly, believe me.

Kelly Molson: I’m with you. Thank you, Roy, for answering my questions. Roy, I want you to tell us about your agency that you run. So your agency is Synthetic, tell me what you do. 

Roy Murphy: So I run Synthetic, we are an emerging technology agency with a specialism in conversational AI, so what that means is we create conversations worth millions for our clients using chat, voice, messaging, all those AI-based concepts. I’ve been running it for about four years, got in quite early into the space, previously we were a mobile agency, but niched down into conversational AI because it’s a really growing space, very interesting things happening across all those kind of areas from chat, voice, and messaging and so on.

The platform is getting bigger, social’s getting bigger, and customers and clients both are using these platforms every day, and therefore there’s a massive opportunity for niche agencies in that space to help strategy, help to develop, and help to maintain those kinds of platforms and those kind of activities.

Kelly Molson: And what kind of … like give me an example of something that you’ve worked on that we can reference. 

Roy Murphy: Sure, there’s a couple of interesting ones, one on the kind of more entertainment side and maybe some more business-related ones. So one of the first ones, and a very successful one we did a little while ago was a Robbie Williams virtual personality bot. So that was a fascinating project actually, so we actually got some time with the man himself and went through it with his record company and so on, and that was to promote … I think about two albums ago, it was about 2016 we started that, that’s still going actually, it’s one of the longest-running … certainly messenger chatbots, or successful ones, that’s been around.

So the idea being that you know, it’s a virtual personality, he is not obviously there, but when we started it, it was quite early in the kind of chat space and area, there were so many messages coming through saying, “Is this you? Tell me where you are, I’m going to show you something,” and it got quite personal actually-

Kelly Molson: I can imagine.

Roy Murphy: Not [crosstalk 00:07:09] yeah it did, but at one point we had … I think we broke Facebook inbox it was so popular, and this was, you know, one of those kinds of small budget and small kind of time-spent projects that had a massive footprint.

Kelly Molson: So it was a bit like … as if you were messaging Robbie and you would get responses back from him?

Roy Murphy: Yeah, exactly right, yeah. Since then obviously like lots has happened in that space around kind of virtual assistants, a lot more sort or reality around augmented reality and kind of replicas of people and digital twins and so on, but that was kind of where it started, that was very successful and very popular, and still going actually. So a bit more up-to-date, we work with a number of large technology companies, one in particular, so we are doing a bunch of stuff with them around gamification and chat, so that’s using the conversational piece to … in the SaaS space actually along sort of [inaudible 00:08:01] and CX in that space, where we’re doing things like virtual events on chat and we’re doing some voice applications as well. 

Customers will come onto the website and using things like web chat to find out more about some of their products and then upselling from there, so chat and conversational AI with an ROI behind it.

Kelly Molson: And that’s kind of what I want to talk about today. So Roy and I are both members of an agency networking group, so we’re both members of Agencynomics, and this is how we met, and I think Roy saw something that I posted about chatbots on LinkedIn, which spurred us to have a conversation about a few things. So some of you listening will have seen me speak at the Visitor Attractions Conference last year, and as part of our talk we were talking about things that could improve the guest’s user journey and guest experience online, and one of the things that we suggested was using a chatbot.

I mean chatbots are great, they can often give people information that they can’t find that easily, or you know, if you have a chatbot you’re freeing up someone else’s time from having to kind of be on that and populating it themselves, and that’s how we got talking, and I have to admit, after the talk in the Q&A session, I got a lot of questions about chatbots, and I thought, “Why don’t I get Roy on to answer those questions? Because he is an expert in it and I am not.” Hence why you’re on Roy.

Roy Murphy: That’s useful.

Kelly Molson: So I kind of want to talk about that kind of side of voice activation and voice kind of conversation around attractions, and I know that you have worked a little bit in that sector, and I wondered if you could give us your kind of … well, your thoughts on them, and then maybe can we talk about how … like how can attractions derive that kind of maximum value from using chatbots?

Roy Murphy: Just to set the scene a little bit, quite important to mention I think, that you know, around the chat and conversational AI space we’re still very early into it. I mean from our side it feels like it’s been going on forever, we’re almost five years into this kind of space, so the questions that we still get are often quite fundamental questions, you know, “Can I give my website, my product, over to an AI? What’s going to happen? What if they start making ridiculous claims and comments? Will people be able to use them? Are we lying to people because they’re not talking to people? Is there any kind of brand damage that might happen?

You know we get a lot of these questions still quite a lot from the educational side, and that’s, of course, every sector, not just visitor attractions, that’s everything from finance to healthcare, wellness, education and so on. So the fundamentals still apply. So the first thing to say is, of course, we’re still quite early into it, although we’ve been doing it for quite a while, so these questions do still apply, and then the second thing we often get as well is, you know, how do you get started? Is it very difficult and complicated and therefore expensive?

And it really isn’t. You know, of course, anything … as a piece of string, can be … you can be using very basic bots or very, very complex and integrated with the CRM systems, so in essence, we are early into it, there are lots of use-cases coming in that are ROI focused and kind of based in reality, which is great, but in terms of visitor attractions, you know, the very basics of a museum or an attraction using an FAQ bot is a great place or a great example to start with.

Kelly Molson: Yeah.

Roy Murphy: So in essence … and that’s very simple to do, so really these are not large projects, and most attractions and most businesses will have most of the information to hand anyway, which is often in their call centre scripts or on the FAQs or the questions being asked on their website, and indeed what’s coming in on email, you know, whether it’s the kind of … you know, a more analogue process they have. So in the very basic version, it’s not difficult for a site to spin up something on their current site based around their FAQs and then use that kind of data that comes back in to understand what people are asking for, because the beauty of those simple chatbot systems, of course, is that people are asking you actual questions, they’re not … you know you don’t have to use eye-tracking software, you don’t have to use Hotjar or something like that, you can actually get … you know, people are actually asking you what they want, you know, what time you’re open, will my discount vouchers still apply because of COVID? 

You know, are you COVID safe? You know, things that have really been kind of popular last year.

Kelly Molson: In its simplistic form, you are gathering data about what people need to find out about your organization?

Roy Murphy: It is … in essence it is really like having a conversation with a customer, and that can be automated, of course, so you don’t have to have your call-centre staff on board, you don’t have to have you, social team, if you’re a small business as well with a single site attraction, this can all be automated very simply and very quickly, and that’s a great place to start with this whole kind of AI space if you like because then you’re going to get a load of data back which will inform you as you what you might do next.

The classic what we call think like a startup, kill or continue, so if you’re getting a whole bunch of questions back and you’ve already answered, okay, maybe that is what you need to spend your time on, but if people are often … if your bot or if your site’s failing on the certain questions of … you know, maybe someone’s asking a particular question all the time, are you open? How do I get to you? How much is it? How much are ticket costs? You can use that and you’ll find that we’ve got loads of data around how people use conversation versus how they use a website, and they’ll spend more time basically on chatbots, and they’ll ask more questions, side-by-side apples with apples than they will on the website, we’ve seen that time and time again. 

Kelly Molson: So the time that they’ll spend talking to a bot will be longer than a browse time?

Roy Murphy: Yeah, often. Often there’s caveats around that of course, but yeah, in essence, we see that a lot because if you’ve … and again, you don’t have to brand it particularly excitingly, although keep away from female named assistants, I’ve got a massive bugbear about that, let’s get onto that later, but you know, if you’re not … you know, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of time with developing new characters or new kind of personas for your bot, if you’ve got a friendly open museum visitor attraction park, whatever, just use that. Answer the basic questions, and use those questions to inform what you do next.

And the other point of that is … so the other important point is that of course if someone gets stuck or if they’ve got a major problem, or it’s a high priority customer service question you can always hand over to a live agent anyway, so there’s loads of nuances around how you would do that and when you would do it, but these things are all very possible and very easy to integrate with whatever you’re currently using in terms of your live chat.

Kelly Molson: Sounds really cool, doesn’t it? Like it sounds like something that everybody should be using.

Roy Murphy: I think people are often quite flummoxed by where to start and how easy it can be, because it seems like it’s a great thing to do and everyone, of course, jumps in and goes, “Right, can we have a Robbie plus replica … can we have someone in our … can they be AR? Can they be this? And can they connect to all our systems?” And absolutely it can, but you don’t necessarily have to start there. So you know … and again, because the prevalence of chat and voice and all these technologies that are happening and your customers are using them, it’s not a big jump for them, so really it’s something you should be doing, you should be talking to your customers on the channels they’re already using.

Kelly Molson: And what would you say is the starting point? Because you talked a little bit about things to think about before you get started with this, like what should an organization be thinking about before they commit to something or before they come and speak to you for example?

Roy Murphy: It’s very simple really. I mean you’ve got to pick a use-case, so there’s a bunch of things you could do, and a bunch of things you should do, but what you absolutely must do is, you know, set your KPI, what are you trying to do? Are you trying to, number one, reduce the amount of hours spent with your social team on answering questions that could be very simply answered by a bot? Are you number two, needing to increase sales by X percent and will this help us to do that? What do we do about? How do we get involved in that? 

So first thing you need to do, understand what it is you’re trying to do in terms of the business KPIs, and then the second thing, of course, is that … you know, leading on from that is describing it which is just a pre-post or after-sales type of scenario, or is it an engagement tool? So are we looking at conversational AI in this instance? Should we be … are we using it for your website? So that’s pre-buy, someone’s looking at your information, it’s top of the funnel, it’s awareness, and that’s one thing and that can be driven all the way through to the final … to kind of booking.

Or is it on the other side of the coin when someone gets to your park, your attraction, or your museum, whatever it might be, are you interacting more there with a character? Is it more things like treasure hunts? Is it something that’s engaging in terms of dwell time? Are you upselling from there? So they’re kind of separate things. Either can be started off very simply, but I think you need to ask yourself those simple kind of one-page answers and questions which are, what’s the bot trying to do? What’s the key audience? And what the success looked like, you know, very simple, basic questions you need to start with first.

Kelly Molson: Yeah, one of the questions that came up … well there was a couple, there was quite a few questions actually at the Visitor Attractions Conference, but one that sticks in my mind was around … it was around social media, you know, was there a platform of some sort or something that would interact with people’s social media, as well as people, being able to ask questions on the website as well? I guess if you’re building something bespoke for an organization, you can make it do pretty much whatever you want it to.

Roy Murphy: Yeah pretty much. I mean anything with API is integrable, basically. So, in essence, yeah, so whether you want to ingest your Twitter feeds … or indeed a lot of the chats are actually social themselves, so they don’t have to be … and there’s kind of … there’s open and closed systems of course, but you know, for instance, Facebook obviously everyone’s aware of, and it would appear from all the things that we see that … and not forgetting that Facebook own three of the biggest social platforms in the world, you know, not just Facebook, of course, they own Instagram, of course, they own WhatsApp, and who knows what else, and they are moving into a … it feels like or it seems like an integrated system where you can now message, you can now use chatbots, to an extent, on Instagram. 

Messenger obviously is the platform for bots for Facebook, but again, WhatsApp being more private has had business beta on it, and it hasn’t really broken in the Western countries as yet. It’s massive in India mind you, WhatsApp. So all these things are all possible and all … and you can build one system and one platform to interact on those as a single point of view, so yeah, it’s all very possible from a social perspective, yeah.

Kelly Molson: How about engaging with different demographics? So is there … you know, in your experience, is there a certain age bracket that will interact more with a chatbot on a site? I guess … again one of the questions was around kind of our grandparents that are booking a trip with their grandkids, are they going to use this chatbot? Is it going to be helpful for them?

Roy Murphy: That is a very, very common question. That’s a great question. Before I started in this whole space I had the same question, isn’t this just for kids though? But actually, kids aren’t using Facebook as you’ve probably noticed. I’ve got a 14-and-a-half year old going on 20 daughter, she hasn’t touched Facebook in four years, or for that matter, Instagram and WhatsApp. If you’re not on TikTok or some of the newer ones you’re kind of toast really. So yeah, we’ve seen … we’ve got a ream of data around this and you’ll probably be quite surprised from the grandparent question that they’re actually very capable and use Facebook, in particular, a lot, because that’s how they communicate with their kids and grandkids. 

So we see a huge spread. We thought the same thing actually a couple of years ago, is this route for kids? And would anyone use it? And is it all … opposite, if it’s easy to use, that’s a truism across any platform, if it’s simple, you use and you’re being upfront about what it is and how you use it, it really does cross … there isn’t a demographic we’ve seen that doesn’t use it. So yeah, it’s not skewed young in essence, no.

Kelly Molson: Is it a case of if it’s easy, anybody will use it? Or would an attraction have to put in any kind of work to get people to engage with it? Because I think that was something that people were a bit worried about, is committing to this and then it not being used, and would it need to be … like would they need to put this huge kind of drive behind encouraging people to use it?

Roy Murphy: So again, depending on what the use-case is. So in very simple terms for the kind of top-of-funnel awareness, and there is other ways of doing this, but your classic chatbot scenario is the bottom right circle, you know, on your website, which you select, and I think we’re all pretty used to … there’s loads of different ones out there from some of the big names like Drift and Intercom and so on, and some of the other platforms. So that is really a tap of a button to ask questions into a kind of FAQ

So that is people are coming to your site anyway, or they’re coming to your Facebook page, and that how you interact anyway, or they’re Instagram now and possibly WhatsApp and so on, so that’s all kind of intrinsically baked in. In terms of on-park or on-site, slightly different scenario. So yeah, I think it’s fair to say that you need to surface it. So if you’re in the aquarium or whatever it might be, or you know, a London Bridge experience or whatever, front-of-house, there’s something there they haven’t seen already, I think definitely. 

Parts of your marketing in terms of if you’re using an app already and there’s a nice part of it which might be chat-related or kind of something you would engage with through the experience, I think yeah, so it really depends. I think the key though is ultimately … it’s telling people about it, yes, but then making it really simple to use, and there’s two things you want to do really, you know, you don’t want to take away from the experience itself, right? The reason they’re there is to see fantastic ocean animals or go on roller coaster rides.

Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that, you know, some train or some … or at least an awareness from front-of-house staff would be important, if you know … just to check in with people, “Have you seen X or Y? Have you seen we’ve got a new dipper,” you know, for museum, you know, our new Dippy chat bot, interact with it, you can see … find treasures, if you do the treasures you get a discount or an offer or something, you know, that kind of stuff is important I think, but again, not taking away from the experience is really important, because you know, let’s face it, we, and our kids as well, spend enough time on screens, so it’s got to add to the experience, and we’re going through the experience of the attraction, and of course not all attractions are end-to-end and kind of, you know, linear, but understanding whether it’s just using a QR code or something simple or being tripped by another kind of interactivity, is important, and making those things short and sweet I think is important as well, those interactions.

Kelly Molson: This was going to be like my kind of final round-up question to you because what we’ve focused on quite a bit is what I think is that kind of pre-attraction journey using chatbots, so people are asking questions about you know, are you open? How much is the ticket price? I can’t find this thing to be able to book, but actually, there’s a lot that can be done in terms of voice strategies for attractions once you’re at the attraction as well. 

Like what kind of things could potentially attractions be looking at for that? I guess this is endless, endless opportunities?

Roy Murphy: Yeah absolutely. I mean you know, depending on the attraction, like I say, I mentioned the kind of Dippy scenario where … you know, are we looking through the museum at bones or artifacts or using a voice to give hints around where to find things, more like an interactive treasure hunt scenario, I think is definitely useful. Making it engaging as well, because you know, obviously moving into a post … hopefully a post-COVID world soon where things are back open again, hopefully sooner rather than later, you’re able to touch things, but maybe people don’t want to, so I think it’s going to be quite important that that kind of touchless experience is probably more part of the experience going forward than it has been.

Kelly Molson: Really good point.

Roy Murphy: So then that’s going to be important. There’s tons of things you can do, like you say, create new characters, use some new technology like AR to kind enhance, I’ve seen some great stuff around museum attractions around selfies, you know, putting yourself into pictures and really engaging and immersing yourself in whatever you’re looking around. I mean my own personal favourite which doesn’t exist, I’m so disappointed that they stopped doing it, was in Audley End, you know, the national heritage-

Kelly Molson: I live right near Audley End-

Roy Murphy: Oh okay. 

Kelly Molson: Yeah, we live in Saffron Walden.

Roy Murphy: I love it.

Kelly Molson: It’s a great place.

Roy Murphy: I love Audley End, they used to have a Victorian sing-along at Christmas, I don’t know if you ever went to it-

Kelly Molson: No, we moved here a couple of years ago so-

Roy Murphy: Right, I think they stopped it about three or four years ago, every time I go there I’m so disappointed they don’t do it, because you got a chance to go into the house and there were some people dressed up in Victorian … I thought, “Wow that’s what I want, I want a Victorian granddad bot, that’s what they’re missing,” right?

Kelly Molson: Yes.

Roy Murphy: I honestly do, I might just go and do it anyway because it’s a fantastic idea, but that kind of interactive and engagement, these things, these character-driven kind of experiences around AI are again … they can be quite complex. It’s not that difficult to start, but again, it just adds to the kind of fun, doesn’t it? And again, the important point I think is, is not just to have that on the park, so there’s any kind of brand and merchandise extensions that are possible in terms of licensing et cetera, so if you’re … I know Dippy’s a good example, or maybe Audley End’s a bad example, but there’s certainly plenty of character-driven attractions where you could extend that more and you could have more engagement from people outside of visiting the attraction.

And again, it could just be that you have a conversation starter and you are able to talk to people and engage, and that might be, “Did you know we’re open? Why don’t you come along and have a two-for-one offer?” And these are you know, digitally printed tickets, they can go into an existing app they’ve got, they can go onto social, go onto the bot itself, so lots of opportunities I think, commercially speaking, that aren’t really being utilized that well because … because we’re quite early into it, and again, I’m going to put a stake in the ground and say I think that in the visitor attraction kind of space there’s huge opportunities because … for people to steal a march on the competitors to be honest.

Because not many people are doing it and doing it well, so there’s a massive opportunity. The audience is definitely there, we know that, we’re going to reopen again soon, and even before reopening it’s a brilliant way to engage people and not particularly … I wouldn’t say cost-neutral, but it’s not particularly expensive to get these things started if you go in with an MVP think like the startup mindset.

Kelly Molson: Yeah, totally agree with that. There is endless possibilities and huge opportunities at the moment. I love what you talked about … the Audley End example is a really great example actually because it is about … you know, it’s about putting you into that experience, isn’t it? It’s about … it’s complementary to it, it enhances the experience, it doesn’t take away from it or distract you from what’s actually happening there at the same time. 

Roy Murphy: Yeah, I think that’s really important. I was also just thinking about audio as well, and again, this is just simple things, and this isn’t necessarily around conversational, but you know, just ahead of us having a chat, just thinking about things like some of the more ride-based attractions, and whether this has been done or not, I’m using … audio is massive obviously, podcasts are massive, audio content’s massive, Alexa and Google and so on are massive, and you know, just simple things like those additional engagements of those … for instance Spotify or Alexa playlists of … you know, you’re going to Alton Towers in a month’s time, you’re really excited about it, here’s the Terror List list with ride on time and songs from TerrorVision and Screamadelica, why aren’t we doing that? This is not difficult to do. 

You know, and you can do corporate audio and AI and conversation to all these things, and there’s so many good opportunities I think for this, and I think there’s a … you know, I think the brands that jump on this and attractions that jump on this will … they’ll put themselves in a good spot I think.

Kelly Molson: That’s such a great idea, what is your attraction’s playlist? That’s what I want everyone to tweet me, what would be on your attraction’s playlist? 

Roy Murphy: You can’t use Screamadelica, I’ve used that. Try and get an example that’s under 30 years old, I tried to think of one earlier, I couldn’t. 

Kelly Molson: Well this one’s not under 30 years … well … yeah no, it is, but I always think about … there’s the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney and it plays Aerosmith, and it’s such a great song, Dude (Looks like a lady), and I just have got such great memories, and every time I hear that song I instantly get transported back to that attraction. It would be really cool wouldn’t it, to have like your playlist from your favourite attractions?

Roy Murphy: It’d be great, just on a personal note, I’m a heavy … well my family, we are heavy attraction users, I was talking to my wife earlier and I think we count … even though we’re on COVID, I think we counted up about 30 attractions last year we did.

Kelly Molson: Nice.

And we generally do around 40 plus, and that’s everything from you know, the obvious big ones, you know, the Alton Towers and so on, to … we went to Portsmouth into the Mary Rose and the dockyards we did [inaudible 00:27:53] Tower, we did Woburn Safari, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Shakespeare Museums, and I did one interestingly, like just before Christmas, the Silverstone Experience, don’t know if you’ve done it, which is-

Kelly Molson: Oh no, I haven’t yet. I should because it’s not that far from where we are.

Roy Murphy: It was actually really good. You know, I’m not a huge Formula 1 fan, but I know lots of people are, but I took the kids out there and my wife came as well, and you get to drive on the track, and now it’s very slow, but they’ve got little lights on, it’s fantastic actually.

Kelly Molson: That’s cool.

Roy Murphy: And there was a Silverstone radio station which you could turn on and they play some tunes, but I thought they were missing a huge trick around interactivity, they should have had a very simple point and click where they are, which you can do very easily now. You’re all going very slowly up the grid, why they didn’t have sounds popping and people revving their engines like Lewis Hamilton on the grid is beyond me.

Kelly Molson: Yeah, really build that atmosphere a bit, yeah.

Roy Murphy: Exactly. Roll your phone over the … traffic lights are, you know, they’re red, amber, green, and then show it off and then you could have James [inaudible 00:28:46] it just missed the big trick there, and none of this is difficult, whether you could just point your thing at the stands and you can have the voice of Murray Walker or whatever it is for the F1 fans. These interactivity things, again, are not difficult.

Kelly Molson: Well I mean they might be listening Roy, so-

Roy Murphy: They should. Call us.

Kelly Molson: You could get a call. Call Roy. 

Roy Murphy: Call us. Call Kelly.

Kelly Molson: On that note, if you do want to know a bit more about Roy and what he does at Synthetic, then there’s loads of places you can look. So you’ve got loads of really great articles on your website, syntehticagency.co, now there’s a couple of really specific articles that are really useful to this conversation, so you’ve got 10 simple tips on bot strategy and design, and you’ve got a case study around Oracle chatbots as well, and there’s just some really, really useful information if you want to carry this conversation on, that’s the best place to go. 

And actually Roy you’ve got a podcast as well, haven’t you?

Roy Murphy: It is called Conversations Worth Millions.

Kelly Molson: Love it.

Roy Murphy: So in essence, conversationsworthmillions.com is the URL, but if you … because I’m amazing at SEO as well, if you type in conversations worth millions into Google, every result on the home pace will be my podcast, if it isn’t, my OCD’s going to go mental.

Kelly Molson: Okay, well let’s test this, so yeah, if you want to listen to a bit more about this topic, then Conversations Worth Millions is what you type into Google and as Roy said, you should find everything that you need. One last question for you, I always ask all of our guests to recommend a book, and it can be a book that you love, just you love it personally, or it could be a book that’s kind of helped shape your career on some way, so have you got a recommendation for us today?

Roy Murphy: Can I just make one small comment before I tell you what book it is? My second unpopular opinion is that you can’t read too much.

Kelly Molson: Okay, yeah.

Roy Murphy: I’m a doer, don’t … my final parting shot on that is don’t just consume, create. I’ll leave it there, however-

Kelly Molson: Yeah, no do you know what? I agree, and don’t just read self-help books, I think there’s a lot of people who consume self-help business book one after the other, go read some fiction as well, and mix it up.

Roy Murphy: Speaking of self-help, I’ve got one for you. 

Kelly Molson: Good.

Roy Murphy: You’ll like this. Okay so this one has got … it’s a bit of a mouthful for a name, it’s brand new, don’t know if you’ve seen it, so this is the Almanack of Naval Ravikant, have you seen it?

Kelly Molson: No, I haven’t.

Roy Murphy: Okay, so I’ll give you a quick pre-see of what it says on the back cover. So it says getting rich is not just about luck, happiness is not just a trait we are born with. So in essence what this is, is Naval is very famous on Twitter, he’s a VC and a bit of a lifestyle guru and so on, and a tech guru too, he wrote quite a … again, famous tweet about a year-and-a-half ago on why getting rich isn’t just about money, it was a massive Twitter thread of maybe, I don’t know, 15 tweets. Someone took those tweets and turned them into a book, which I thought for a couple of reasons was fantastic.

First of all, to be able to spin a book out of 15 tweets is really interesting, and actually the lessons in it I think are actually quite powerful, so that’s my recommendation. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. 

Kelly Molson: Great. Good. That is a good choice. As ever, if you would like to win a copy of this book, we offer it as a prize, so all you need to do is head over to our Twitter account which is Skip The Queue if you just search for that on Twitter, and then if you retweet this episode announcement with the words, “I want Roy’s books,” then you will be put into a prize draw to potentially win it. 

Roy thank you, I’ve really enjoyed this chat. Thanks for coming on and for sharing your knowledge about this topic. Please, everyone, go and subscribe to Roy’s podcast the Conversations Worth Millions. If you are interested in what we’ve been talking about today, it’s a wealth of knowledge there, and I would definitely check out Roy’s website too. Thanks for coming on.

Roy Murphy: Thanks a lot, Kelly, it’s been a pleasure. 


Do you know someone we should be talking to?

Do you know someone fascinating we should be talking to?

If so, email us at hello@rubbercheese.com – we’ll get back to you shortly.

Paul Wright.
Kelly Molson Managing Director

Host of the popular Skip the Queue Podcast, for people working in or working with visitor attractions, she regularly delivers workshops and presentations on the sector at various national conferences and universities including The Visitor Attractions Conference, ASVA and Anglia Ruskin University.

Read more about me

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