Living in the era of social media platforms, almost every company aims at building an online community on Instagram to promote their products/services, increase brand loyalty, and boost sales.
But here’s the deal:
Having an Instagram presence isn’t enough to turn your followers into brand advocates. Modern customers are savvy. To keep them satisfied you need to take care of your Instagram followers and provide excellent in-app customer service.
The Importance of Instagram Customer Care
Happy customers are the lifeblood of any business and to keep your customers satisfied, you simply must provide outstanding customer service.
Instagram, for one, is only growing. Check out the numbers:
With the growing popularity of Instagram (not to mention following business profiles which 90% of us do) implementing a social customer care strategy is a must for brands that are active on Instagram.
Any proof needed? A report by Facebook Business states that 70% of those who message businesses on Instagram expect to send more customer service question in the future.
With a significant number of Instagram features at your disposal, you need to know how to make the most of them. Here are eight best practices of Instagram customer care marketers should follow.
1. Provide visitors with different contact options
The number of customers who reach out to brands on Instagram has grown. 90% of users follow at least one business on the platform and 150 million people have a conversation with businesses each month.
However, this doesn’t mean that all your followers will want to get in touch with you via Instagram. People are different, so they may wish to use other contact options to get in touch.
An Instagram bio is the first thing people see when visiting a profile. That’s your chance to tell visitors about the social media customer care you have available. If you provide Instagram customer care, that’s great. But if your customer support team is more active on other channels, then use the bio section to tell your Instagram visitors about it.
Just like Alitalia did it 👇
To provide users with more contact options, you can create a website with a chatbot that links back to your Instagram bio. Or if you have a business account on Instagram, you can include contact buttons to your profile so that your followers can send a direct message, call, or email you.
Simply put, by offering different contact options, you provide Instagrammers with the choice of what suits their needs best. All in all, that’s an excellent Instagram customer care initiative.
2. Optimize Instagram for Customer Self-Service
Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could solve their problems on their own? Optimize your Instagram for customer self-service to save you time and effort.
As specified in Webopedia, customer self-service (CSS) is a business method that allows customers to interact with the business and handle their own customer inquiries at their convenience.
Customer self-service allows users to find answers to their questions without waiting for a response from your customer service representative. As a result, it helps reduce customer service response time and increase customer satisfaction. Win-win!
When it comes to Instagram marketing, here are several ways to optimize your profile for customer self-service.
You could try:
- Adding a link in the bio to your brand’s FAQ page
- Featuring an IGTV video where you talk about your top FAQ
- Create an Instagram Story Highlight album that answers the most common questions
- Here’s how BaliBody uses its Story Highlights to feature FAQs for their best-selling products:
To create a similar Instagram Story Highlight album covers, you can choose a graphic design tool like Crello or Canva where you can create or repurpose pre-made design templates that fit your brand identity.
3. Create a Separate Instagram Account for Customer Inquiries
Good customer care means providing prompt responses. Companies can’t afford to miss out on important conversations on their profiles. Thus, having a separate Instagram account for customer inquiries can be a good idea.
Let’s take a look at AvaCLuxe.
The company has a separate customer service page on Instagram where customers can get fast responses to their questions as the account is focused on Instagram customer care:
How can you decide whether your company needs a separate Instagram account for customer service?
- Do you get a lot of customer inquiries on Instagram daily?
- Do you have a large number of followers who constantly bombard your profile with comments, tags, and direct messages?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, then you might want to consider creating a customer service profile on Instagram.
Still not sure? No worries, you can always quickly test if Instagram is a good communication channel for you and what part of your audience reaches out.
Another way to go, is to add a social media management tool to your arsenal. With a tool like Falcon, you won’t ever miss a message or a notification from customer. That’s customer care you can rely on.
4. Monitor Comments and Direct Messages
No matter how big or small your company is, you should always be equipped to handle questions and even dissatisfied customers (especially on social as people rarely hesitate to share their opinions with the world). To turn unhappy customers into happy ones, it’s important to monitor direct messages and comments as people tend to complain if they don’t get a reply back (I mean, who wouldn’t?).
As you can see with Zappos here, Instagrammers appreciate communication with brands on the platform and replying to their comments or direct messages is one of the best ways to show that you care for your customers.
All in all, it leads to Instagram growth which helps spread the word about your company and therefore attract more customers to the platform.
5. Use a Private Channel for Sensitive Conversations
The rise of social media platforms has made it easier for customers to express their feelings and opinions about brands online. When people are dissatisfied with a products or services, they’re more inclined to take to the keyboard to express their opinions. As a result, they might leave negative comments, which could negatively affect your brand reputation.
To take care of your dissatisfied customers, it’s important to move sensitive conversations to a private channel. It aids the situation if you get a chance to repair the situation in private – and ultimately it could save your brand from a crisis.
Here’s how Made.com handles negative comments and asks the dissatisfied customer to share her order details in a direct message.
To help your team solve issues with ease, it’s a good idea to create a file with all difficult customer requests and their solutions to have an example of what can work best for these situations.
If you wanted to automize this process, social media software like Falcon lets you add message templates so your team can swiftly reply to the most common questions in a manner that’s on-brand and consistent.
6. Organize a Q&A Session with Brand Experts
To really boost your customers’ experiences, you might want to start thinking about addressing common questions and requests even before people reach out to you.
Seeing as the Instagram algorithm prioritizes content from friends and family it can be difficult for business accounts to cut through the noise.
The solution? Try organizing a Q&A live session with brand experts present to answer questions in real-time.
Check out how Adidas informed its followers about the live Q&A session to attract more attendees.
And the best part? You can now save live videos to IGTV. So, even if your customers end up missing the live session you can always reshare the content or post a Story asking them to check-out the saved video to get to know more about your product.
7. Hire and Educate a Freelance Social Media Moderator
When it comes to Instagram customer care your followers may live in various different time zones. However, people still expect to be able to contact brands on their terms (and in their own time). This means your customer support team should monitor customer requests 24/7.
With the growing popularity of remote work options, you can hire a freelance social media specialist to monitor your profile and interact with customers.
Here’s what it looks like in action.
And it goes without saying that every freelance social media moderator needs assistance in solving issues that can hurt your brand reputation.
You need to invest time and effort into creating a practical guide for social media moderators where they can find tips and tricks on solving the most widespread problems.
8. Use Social Listening for Proactive Customer Service
Not all customers want to start a conversation with your company on social media. Some might share their stories on their personal Instagram accounts to tell their friends and family about customer experience. In fact, 96% of people who discuss your brand online don’t follow your business profile on social media.
But when the conversation is indirect, your brand does not receive a notification and it’s easy to miss out on something important. As a result, you can leave your dissatisfied customers without a solution which can negatively affect your brand’s reputation.
If the person tags your profile or adds a geo position, it’s more likely your company won’t miss it out, just like in the example below…
But if you want to make sure you know what people are saying about your business on social media, pay close attention to social listening as it allows you to keep track of all brand mentions — and react in a jiffy.
In a Word
The importance of Instagram customer care is only growing. The more people use the platform and the more time they spend scrolling the app, the more it becomes natural for them to reach out to your brand too. Simply put, people expect to interact with brands on channels they use often.
A strong Instagram presence is important in order to optimize customer care and solve customer issues fast. Not only does it help to keep your target audience satisfied, but it also helps increase brand loyalty and trust — which might bring you one step ahead of your competitors.
To incorporate customer service into your social media initiatives and bring your Instagram marketing strategy to the next level, download our Fluff-Free Guide to Instagram Marketing.
About the author
Val Razo is a freelance SMM consultant with 7+ years of experience who helps small and medium businesses. Val claims that Instagram has great sales potential, so she recommends both big and small brands to use this platform for business growth. Follow her on Twitter to stay tuned for more.