Telia backs customer care app company that plans to go worldwide

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Swedish app company eBuilder starts promoting self-care app to mobile operators in Europe and Asia

A company part-owned by Telia is in discussions with European and Asian operators after reporting a three-fold improvement in customer engagement.

The company, eBuilder, produces an app that helps mobile users sort out problems on their phones themselves and directs them to upgraded services from Telia.

“We can lower churn and drive customer loyalty upwards,” Gustav Berghog, product and commercial director at Telia Sweden, told Global Telecoms Business. “If we see you have a problem we contact you with tips and tricks or suggest an upgrade.”

The eBuilder service now has 100,000 users in Telia, who have given it a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 29. “The NPS for telecoms operators in Sweden is 1, though Telia is better,” said Morgan Curby, eBuilder’s chief commercial officer.

Operators that eBuilder is now talking to include MTS in Russia, said Leif Bohlin, the company’s CEO. He would not name any other potential customers.

However, since taking over in the company in 2013 he has built up an influential board. It is chaired by Julian Horn-Smith, former Vodafone executive who is on the boards of Digicel and Veon, and members include Ming Maa, a senior member of the management team at SoftBank – though Maa is involved in a private capacity, said Bohlin.

“We want to build a global network,” Bohlin told Global Telecoms Business. “But we are also collecting a lot of data on the health of devices. We know the status of batteries and we know if a device is performing badly.”

Around half of the sample 100,000 Telia customers have no problems. “But 30% have small problem and they can change the settings on their own” to improve performance, using the eBuilder app. “The rest are having quite severe problems and they are in the market for a new device or they are at risk of churning,” said Bohlin. “We can target them with a personalised message.”

The app, which Telia calls Min Mobil, can be downloaded by non-Telia customers, he added.