How Telia uses automation to generate direct revenue via customer support


Telia has transformed its customer service by increasing its deflection rate, improving customer experiences, and turning their support team from a cost center to a value center by generating direct revenue with CS. Here’s how.

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  • Telia provides instant, 24/7 support to customers through automated chat support
  • They are able to generate and track direct revenue generated in their automated chat conversations
  • Telia has been able to completely automate 30% of all chats

The Customer: Telia is pioneering a new generation of telecommunication across the Nordics and Baltics

Telia is a Swedish-Finnish multinational telecommunications corporation that operates in Nordic and Baltic countries.

A self-described “New Generation Telco,” it is the largest operator by both customer base and revenue.

One of the reasons for its success is that Telia is deeply innovative. Technology is at the core of everything they do, with the aim to deliver the best products and services possible. This customer-centric and pioneering spirit drove Telia to harness the power of AI.

The Situation: Answering 75,000+ chat requests per month

As one of the largest telcos in the Nordics, with business spanning from mobile to broadband to TV, Telia serves millions of customers. Telia handles up to 75,000 customer service chats per month in Finland alone.

Occasionally, the strain gets even more intense, as was the case during the 2019 Ice Hockey season, for which Telia owned the streaming rights in Finland.

On top of this, Telia, as any telecommunications company, faces large customer acquisition costs. For telcos, customer retention, aided by excellent customer experience, is incredibly important.

To cushion the high acquisition costs, Telia needs a strong upselling strategy, with the aim to convert customers to new products. In this context, bespoke customer service and advice is a must.


The Solution: AI-powered chat automation

Chat is Telia’s fastest-growing B2C channel, where thousands of customers get in touch every day.

With Ultimate’s solution, enquiring customers can reach out to Telia through chat either on the company’s homepage or from their own client account (i.e. pre- and post-login). In both cases, an intelligent virtual agent greets them and tries to resolve their request.

Telia’s automated conversations are powered by Ultimate’s NLP-powered technology; it is able to hold multi-turn, complex conversations in Finnish and to deliver accurate, instant assistance. This allows to fully automate resolutions to common enquiries.

The virtual agent passes on the more complex requests to one of Telia’s human agents, who see what the VA has been discussing and takes it from there.

But that's not all: Telia doesn't just view automated chat as an opportunity to save costs, but as a channel that actively generates revenue. One way they do this is by suggesting links to additional services that could be relevant to their customer’s case in their chat conversations. They then tag these links and follow the revenue from them using Google Analytics. For example, when a customer asks to transfer their phone number from a previous provider to Telia in a public chat, the bot provides a link to an online shop where they can check the best offer for that number. Telia then monitors and reports on subscriptions from this link. The revenue generated is the actual value of the subscription placed via the link.

The Success: 30% of all chat automated

The collaboration between Telia and Ultimate  yielded strong results on all fronts. Telia has been able to completely automate 30% of all chats routed through Ultimate.

From an agent standpoint, morale has gotten even better: Now that they are free from repetitive, time-consuming tasks, agents can focus their talents on providing customers great experiences. The team is constantly acquiring new skills, and operates at an advanced level.

Next steps

AI solutions are already embedded into many functions of Telia, and now Ultimate's NLP-powered solution reinforces this stack and is a core component of Telia’s customer experience strategy.

With AI-driven customer service like theirs, the opportunities for continuing innovation are endless.

Now, Telia is looking at developing an in-app channel, to complement the existing two intelligent virtual agents.

They also want to leverage AI to support more of their customer journey — chat is a popular sales channel; so one of the next steps is to expand their virtual agent platform to support their sales teams.

Finally, Telia is exploring the use of AI to increase agent productivity, by providing real-time suggested responses to agents.

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