In the past, customers had to rely on phone calls or email to resolve their issues. With the popularity of social media platforms, when people choose social media for communication, the traditional way of getting through to customer care can take forever.
Social media platforms like Instagram have provided customers direct access to brands, and there’s no going back. The popularity of social customer service is on the rise.
You already know that Instagram is among the best platforms to grow your brand. Over the last few years, Instagram has evolved as a marketing channel. With 2 billion monthly active users, 90% of whom follow at least 1 business profile in-app, it’s not just for marketing your products. With its massive user base, your audience is likely already on the platform. Plus, its accessibility means you can respond to customers while on the go.
Instagram has become a great tool for connecting with your audience and providing excellent customer care. Thus, Instagram customer care gains in popularity.
About Instagram Customer Care in Brief
Instagram customer care is the process of communicating with followers to solve their customer inquiries on the platform.
Social media’s “always on” nature means that customers expect instant responses and resolutions through Instagram. Instagram has also made it easier for brands to provide the best customer experience with features like automated responses, contact buttons, and more.
That’s why Instagram customer care has become important and businesses of all sizes and niches that have an Instagram presence optimize their accounts for customer service and help clients get their questions solved without leaving the app.
The Importance of Instagram Customer Care
More than 20% of users follow a brand on Instagram for communication purposes, while 74% say that they have reached out for customer service after following a brand.
So aside from using Instagram for product discovery, it’s interesting to learn that your customers are also using it so they can communicate with you.
The quality of your customer’s experience with your brand can make or break you. Here’s why Instagram is an important tool for customer care:
- People crave business communication. Effective communication is essential to your success as a business. It’s not enough to respond to messages. It’s also crucial for it to be convenient and personal. After all, it’s all about communication in the changed world. With social media always available, businesses have no excuse.
- Customers discover and buy products. Nine out of ten customers follow brands on Instagram—there’s definitely an interest to buy custom products. However, if you’re a social media based-business without a physical store, it’s important to be readily available for any questions and concerns.
- Instagram helps businesses provide customer care. While customer care isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Instagram, you can leverage the platform’s business tools to provide the best customer experience—from brand discovery all the way to customer service.
- It improves brand loyalty. Customers want to feel like you care about them. Being responsive through comments and direct messages can help you build a deeper connection with your audience and boost brand loyalty.
Examples of Great Instagram Customer Care
Today’s consumers are more discerning than ever. Aside from supporting brands with high-quality products, they’re also looking to form more personal relationships with the people behind the brand. Without excellent customer care on your social media channels, you can quickly lose valuable customers.
Whether you want to start providing customer service on Instagram or you seek out new ideas on how to optimize the process, here’s the list of 7 Instagram customer care best practices to follow.
Jet Blue: Optimize Your Account for Instagram Customer Care
Modern customers often use Instagram for customer service, but when it takes days or weeks to get a reply from your company, they lose interest in your business. To keep track of all customer inquiries, you need to optimize your account for Instagram customer care. Moreover, it gives you an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction and close deals faster.
Optimizing your Instagram for customer care means being responsive in comments and direct messages, providing the necessary action buttons and contact information, and having an easy-to-see FAQ section where your audience can get quick answers to common questions.
If you prefer receiving customer inquiries in other channels, it’s also best to state it in your bio.
Let’s take a look at JetBlue. Its bio redirects customers with concerns to the website and the profile also sends them a message through Instagram DM. This gets you an almost instant response from a customer care agent. This shows that the airline prioritizes the customer experience in every channel.
The airline also has a call action button and a live chat option, making it easier for customers to get in touch immediately.
SMEG USA: Provide Various Contact Options on Instagram
While most customers on Instagram will either tag you in comments or send you a direct message, it’s still important to add alternative channels for those with more urgent requests or complex issues when providing Instagram customer care.
Kitchen appliance brand SMEG has a contact button on its Instagram page that customers can tap to either call or email customer service. Having multiple, seamless ways to get in touch with you can give your customers the peace of mind that you’re always available for them.
However, to manage expectations, you can indicate your availability in your bio and make good use of Instagram chatbots to send automated messages to new followers or those who contact you via Direct Messages.
Lego: Improve Customer Service Response Time
It’s not enough to respond to all comments and DMs. Your customers expect a rapid response.
In fact, 40% expect a response within an hour of sending you a message. Unfortunately, not many businesses meet the response time expectations. According to research by McKinsey, only 50% of businesses respond on time.
To help you meet expectations, you can set up automated messages on Instagram Direct. Here’s how:
- Go to your business profile’s inbox
- Tap on the menu (…) on the upper right corner, then select Tools
- Tap on Frequently Asked Questions, then edit the FAQs based on the common questions you receive and add your response
- Tap on Saved Replies to add quick replies to specific questions
While customers will prefer talking to an actual person than receiving an automated response, eliminating the tedious process of answering repetitive questions makes it easier to track and resolve urgent issues.
Check out how the toy brand Lego does it:
Before even sending a message, customers can see a list of FAQs. If none of the FAQs apply, customers are free to send a different message.
If you’re running a small team and can’t have someone managing your inbox 24/7, automated responses assure customers that you’ve received their message.
Take a look at how a small food brand from the Philippines set up its automated response:
Customers can select Order Now or Browse FAQs to receive automated responses. Tapping on Chat With Us allows you to talk to an actual person. This type of setup allows the small business to prioritize DMs that need human intervention.
Amazon: Create a Separate Instagram Handle for Customer Care
Since your Instagram inbox can easily fill up with Story reactions, replies, and random DMs, urgent customer inquiries can quickly get buried. Having a separate Instagram handle for customer care can make it easier for you to manage your inbox.
Tech Giant Amazon created a separate Instagram account dedicated to answering all customer support questions. It also included a link to its help page where customers can find answers to common questions.
Having a separate Instagram account that’s all about customer care can also make it easier for customers to find relevant content and replies to customer questions in one place.
Drunk Elephant: Make Good Use of Instagram Story Highlights
At first blush, using ephemeral content like Stories isn’t the best idea for Instagram customer care. But with the Instagram Story Highlights, when you can make some of your Stories live permanently on your profile and group relevant Stories into separate albums, it can become a great tool for customer service representatives.
Your Instagram Story Highlights is an excellent place where customers can find important resources to improve their customer experience.
Here’s how skincare brand Drunk Elephant uses its Instagram Story Highlights as a tool for customer care:
The brand labels each Story Highlight with a title and eye-catching social media icons so customers can easily navigate the different topics and find what they need. Aside from answering FAQs, The Skin Hotline Highlight shows questions from real customers and their corresponding answers.
Drunk Elephant also uses Instagram Story highlights to talk about different topics which may interest customers.
Instagram Story highlights is a great tool for enhancing the customer experience because it’s easily navigable and visually rich. Instead of breaking down FAQs and important customer questions with a block of text in your inbox, you can use videos, interactive polls, and other fun features.
Away: Ask Followers for Customer Feedback
While feedback can be painful, it can help you identify weak points and serve as a reference for improvement. Knowing your customer’s satisfaction levels can prevent customer drop-offs and help you grow a community of loyal followers.
There are multiple ways to ask for customer feedback on Instagram:
- DMs – Let your followers know that your DMs are always open for all their needs.
- Customer satisfaction survey – After assisting customers, ask them to answer a short survey to review their experience.
- Interactive stickers on Instagram Stories – Since customers are more inclined to leave feedback in extreme circumstances (either an exceptional customer experience or a horrible one), asking for regular feedback may be difficult. Using interactive stickers makes the process of giving and receiving feedback a fun and effortless experience.
- Post user-generated content on your main feed – Showing your followers what customers say about your brand and products is a great way to get more submissions.
Simply telling your followers how much you value their opinions can help to boost customer feedback. Check out this post by the luggage and travel brand Away:
Away credits customer feedback for helping the team create better products, as shown in an in-feed launch announcement. As a result, the post received a ton of engagement in the comments section.
When done right, Instagram and customer feedback surveys can also bring more traffic – just publish your survey on the website and create a series of Instagram posts and Stories to bring attention to it with a clickable link.
Glossier: Track Your Brand Mentions
Monitoring your brand mentions and all untagged conversations on social media can help you manage your brand’s reputation and enhance your customer experience. It’s especially crucial to track any negative mentions about your brand so you can respond swiftly and resolve issues before it affects your image.
Improving your customer care process on Instagram doesn’t mean you should only track brand mentions on Instagram alone. It also helps to monitor other platforms to understand your customers better.
Cult-favorite makeup brand Glossier used social listening to discover that customers are hoping for a restock of a limited-time product. To show customers that Glossier listens, the brand decided to not only restock the product but also make it permanent.
While manually searching for keywords and your brand name on social media platforms can work for small brands, as you grow, you will need a reliable social listening tool like Mention. Social listening tools can help you track brand mentions, sentiment analysis, and other valuable data across social media and various public sites.
The golden rule of customer care on Instagram? Manage expectations. This means informing your customers of your availability through automated responses or providing them with alternative ways to get answers through your Story Highlights. Customers just want clear communication.
With these tips and your customer’s expectations effectively managed, you can provide the best customer care experience and stand out from your competitors.