AI turns chatbots into smart virtual agents

Upseller’s CEO Sampo Kallunki, ‘s Country Sales Manager Finland Marko Vanhatalo and Fortum’s Customer Service Digitalisation Manager Sanna Kulmala gave the FIIF audience a deep dive into Conversational AI.

Finland has been one of the most active users of chatbots in Europe. There is still a great disruptive change coming to many industries with the chatbots that use AI.

Marko Vanhatalo, Country Sales Manager Finland, explained in the FIIF event that first generation chatbots were very specialized and did not fully meet the needs of end-users. The broad scope virtual agents that are used nowadays are superior. They are able to answer a variety of topics, go deep on a subject without compromising on accuracy and scale up number of intents up to thousands of topics.

He predicts that chat will become the primary channel for customer service. The way to get the most value out of conversational AI is chat-first strategy. This means that chatbots replace phone, e-mail and live chat.

Fortum has developed chatbot Milo since 2019. Sanna Kulmala, Fortum’s Customer Service Digitalisation Manager revealed that Milo was especially needed last fall, when the raise in electricity prices caused a peak in the numbers the company’s customer service. Chatbot could handle thousands of customers simultaneously. Now a significant amount of all their incoming traffic is handled only by the bot. She pointed out that it is important to coach the chatbot as well as employees are coached. They have dedicated persons for this in the company.

Other presentors of the event were professor Mikko Kurimo, Aalto University and CEO Sampo Kallunki, Upseller. The presentations are available for FIIF partners through partner sign in section.