Long gone are the days when Instagram was a simple photo-sharing platform for posting images of your life. Today, Instagram has become an effective marketing tool for businesses of all sizes and niches.
According to Meta’s own data, Instagram is the top social media platform for building relationships with brands that counts 2 billion monthly active users, 90% of whom follow at least one business profile in-app.
Today, people also expect brands to communicate with them on the platform and 150 million users initiate communication with businesses each month. Social media for customer service has become one of the current social media trends, so the importance of Instagram customer care is on the rise, too.
In this article, you’re going to understand the importance of Instagram customer care and draw inspiration from the best practices on how to do it the right way. Let’s get it started!
Why Should Companies Provide Instagram Customer Care?
Over the last decade, social media has become the preferred communication channel for customer care, just take a look at the numbers below:
If you have a dedicated customer service team on all social media platforms you use for business promotion, that’s great. This means you can meet your customers where they are and solve their customer inquiries in a comfortable way.
But if you can’t afford to provide customer care on all social media platforms and you have to choose one network for customer care, make it Instagram. Here are five solid reasons to focus on Instagram customer care:
Instagram’s audience is highly engaged and active
The Instagram community is active in interactions with brands. Back in 2020, Instagram was the most popular network for branded interactions and it accounted for 67% of actions on company-related content among the top three social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).
Social media users crave brand communication in-app
As you remember, nine in ten Instagrammers follow business profiles on the platform. What is more, 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily. Simply put, people want to communicate with brands they support on the channel.
Users share their customer experience with their followers
For social media users, it doesn’t take much time or effort to share their opinions or highlight the problems with a few clicks. When Instagrammers share their customer experiences on the platform, not only do they share pain points, but they also help potential customers make more informed purchase decisions.
People spend a lot of time on Instagram
Today, an average user spends 29 minutes a day on the platform. When it comes to choosing the preferred communication channel, it’s easier for customers to communicate with your customer support reps on platforms they use actively.
Instagram has features for providing customer service
With the growing popularity of using Instagram for business promotion, the platform has rolled out business-specific features that help companies communicate with their target audiences in-app. From multiple links in the bio and in-app messaging via Direct Messages to quick replies and the question sticker, there are many features to provide excellent Instagram customer care.
Now that you realize the importance of Instagram customer care for your business growth, let’s draw inspiration from ten best practices of providing Instagram customer care.
10 Best Practices of Providing Instagram Customer Care
Starting as a photo-sharing app, Instagram has moved away from its origins over the last few years. More and more people not only follow their favorite businesses in-app but also reach out to them to share their customer pain points.
In the past, when big brands started using Instagram for business promotion, it wasn’t the most obvious customer service tool for providing customer care. Having an Instagram presence, companies had to adapt to customer service expectations and experiment with providing customer care in-app.
Today, we can take a look at the best practices of providing Instagram customer care and implement the best ones when creating an effective Instagram marketing strategy.
1. Optimize Your Instagram Profile for Customer Care
Customer service expectations have changed. Modern users don’t want to put effort into contacting your customer service team. When it takes hours or days or even weeks to find your contact info on Instagram, people lose interest in your company and opt for choosing your competitors.
Keep in mind that people have a short attention span of 8 seconds, so it’s important to make it easy for Instagram followers and visitors to get in touch with your customer support team.
The solution? Optimize your Instagram profile for customer care.
First, write a compelling Instagram bio section that tells readers about your company as well as hints at how to get in touch with your customer support.
Second, make good use of an Instagram link in bio as it’s a great way to redirect worried customers to other communication channels and help your Instagram moderators deal with customer inquiries in-app. When done right, adding multiple links in the bio allows users to provide customer support options and result in more website traffic.
Third, provide different contact options when optimizing your profile. You can add your email address or phone number as action buttons.
But if you want to take the next step and make sure your visitors find all information about customer service when scanning your Instagram profile, take a look at Ryanair.
Not only does the company have a landing page in the bio that shows contact options and customer service queries, but it also has a dedicated Instagram Story Highlight album that appears right below the bio section.
2. Listen to Your Followers and Visitors
When people follow your business Instagram profile, not only do they want to get product updates, but they also want to communicate with your brand. It’s no secret that social media users share their opinions with brands they like and when you listen to your followers and visitors, it gives results.
It allows you to understand customers better, solve problems, and help users feel valued. Moreover, it doesn’t require much time or effort–just pay close attention to your comments.
Let’s just take a look at an example from Lululemon. The company got a comment from its loyal customer who voiced a problem of a bad in-store customer experience. Lululemon reacted fast and it got support from the customers:
If you don’t get many comments from your audience, you can think about being a proactive listener. To provide proactive customer service on Instagram, it’s a good idea to start a conversation with your followers and ask them about their preferences and ideas. This tactic helps to deal with inquiries before they occur.
What is more, the idea is simple yet effective – ask a question in the caption and add a strong call to action, just like in the example below:
Listening to your followers and visitors helps to increase brand loyalty and trust, understand your customers’ pain points, and provide outstanding customer care in-app. After all, it’s no wonder that people want to be heard when people share their thoughts.
3. Utilize Video Marketing to Support Customer Service
Video content is taking the world by storm. As specified in the latest research, people watch videos for around 84 minutes daily, the video retention rate is 54%, and users are twice more likely to share videos online than any other form of content.
With the dynamic nature of videos, when it’s easy to implement the power of storytelling, users love videos and they crave for more videos from brands. When it comes to customer service on Instagram, you can also utilize video marketing to provide customer care.
For example, it’s a good idea to create explainer videos that help viewers understand more about your product or service and find answers to their questions before they occur. Check out an example below:
What is more, Instagram live streaming can be a good way to organize Q&A sessions and communicate with your customers in real-time. Or you can also make short vertical videos for Stories or Reels that tell more about your company in a fun and engaging way.
No matter what types of videos you want to create to support customer service in-app, there’s no need to hire expensive video professionals as you can always rely on an easy-to-use Instagram video maker that offers a wide array of templates to customize. Plus, you can resize your videos and use them on different channels. Pretty good, huh?
4. Handle Customer Issues Fast
People value their time more than ever. The demand for prompt customer service response time has grown and 82% of consumers expect brands to reply within 10 minutes.
Doubtless, it’s important to handle customer requests fast on Instagram, too. When you monitor customer inquiries and do your best to handle issues fast, it helps to influence public perceptions about your business and therefore positively affects reputation management.
To increase customer satisfaction and encourage people to send their customer issues on Instagram, do your best to increase customer service response time. For example, one company promises to send a reply within a few minutes.
But if you don’t have a dedicated customer support team to solve all issues within a few minutes, there’s no need to promise unrealistic deadlines if you can’t meet them. Instead, think about the real time frame for solving customer inquiries and tell about it in the bio. Here’s how one blogger did:
5. Tackle Difficult Conversations Privately
Angry or dissatisfied customers who voice their opinions on social media can negatively impact your online reputation. For many companies, moving these conversations to a private communication channel is a great solution.
What is more, when customers need to disclose their personal data (order details, email address or phone number, etc.), your company should bother about their online privacy and invite these customers to share their details in a private message.
When you get negative comments from your customers, it’s important to apologize for bad customer experience, show empathy, and invite people to share the details of their issues in a private channel as Made.com does in these replies to negative comments:
However, you should be ready that not every customer issue can be solved via Direct Messages on Instagram. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to know about common meeting types and offer 1-on-1 meetings with a customer service representative to answer all questions and turn difficult customers into loyal ones.
Plus, keep in mind that 96% of conversations about brands happen outside its business profile, so it’s significant to keep track of brand mentions and invest in a solid media monitoring tool. When done right, it allows your company to find all negative mentions and prevent social media crises.
6. Create a FAQ Section on Your Profile
More and more people want to find their solutions without contacting the customer support team, the popularity of customer self-service is growing. When it comes to Instagram customer care, there’s a proven way to help worried customers find replies to their questions fast–create a FAQ section on your profile.
It’s a great idea to make FAQs a part of your content marketing strategy and keep track of customer inquiries to collect frequently-asked questions and provide replies to them. Then, you can repurpose these FAQs for your Instagram profile.
The best way is to create Instagram Stories that feature FAQs and organize them into a separate Instagram Story Highlight album. Check out how Cleck did it:
Another good idea is to create a series of posts that provide answers to frequently-asked questions and organize them in an Instagram guide. The best thing? You can rely on an AI caption generator to create engaging captions without losing your company’s brand voice.
7. Provide Alternative Communication Channels
At first blush, it can be strange to offer alternative communication channels on Instagram when people reach out to you on the platform. Most companies think that if customers choose this network, they expect to hear back from your brand in-app.
In fact, many Instagrammers love following their favorite brands on the platform as they spend a considerable amount of time in-app.
But when it comes to solving customer inquiries, using alternative communication channels can be an option. Especially if your company doesn’t have an Instagram moderator who constantly monitors brand mentions, comments, and Direct Messages. Why? People want to get a prompt response.
If you provide customer service on other channels and your customers can use them, tell followers about these options on Instagram. Here are several communication channels to promote on Instagram:
- chatbot or live chat on your website
- landline phone service
- customer support email address
- Twitter handle for customer inquiries
- knowledge base
AirFrance constantly gets hundreds of customer inquiries on social media profiles, so the company has several communication channels for its consumers. What is more, the company writes about all alternatives in the bio section and includes a website link where interested visitors can find even more options like live chat.
If you run a website and you want to boost its traffic and time spent, it’s a good idea to make good use of the Instagram bio link and encourage people to get customer service on your website. However, make sure that you know how to design a perfect website homepage so that web visitors could find a live chat or alternative communication options like email or phone number with ease.
8. Set Up a Separate Instagram Profile for Customer Inquiries
Practically every marketer aims at having a solid Instagram profile with thousands of loyal and active followers. However, the more Instagram followers you have, the more customer inquiries you may receive.
And if you have a shoppable Instagram profile and you use it as an e-store where visitors can buy products in-app, you can also be ready for a number of questions regarding your products. For a social media team, it can be daunting to keep track of all inquiries and solve them fast.
However, you can learn from successful companies and set up a separate Instagram profile for customer inquiries, just like Oh Polly did:
The above-mentioned profile is a good example of keeping Instagram customer care profile separate from the main business account. Since this account is dedicated to customer service, people can find all answers to their questions with ease or simply get in touch with the customer service representative.
9. Get Ready for Common Customer Requests
What do your customers have in common? Since they have interest in your product, they are more likely to have the same questions about your company, its products, services, values, etc.
To improve customer response time and help your customer service team work productively, get ready for common customer requests and think about the responses your team can send to different people without typing them over and over again.
How to understand common customer requests? Pay attention to the comment section and analyze comments that get likes for Instagram from other visitors. Why? Likes serve as a sign of support from other people who haven’t shared their thoughts with your company which means customers have high interest in a particular question or concern.
If you use Instagram messages in your strategy, that’s great. It gives you an opportunity to make good use of quick replies–canned responses to frequently-asked questions. Take a look at the screenshot below to see how to create a quick reply with ease:
What is more, it can be a good idea to create a customer service ebook where you can gather all principles on providing customer service as well as list common inquiries and potential solutions along with examples of replies. It can help to master tone of voice in customer care as well as assist new and experienced customer support representatives on communicating with customers on Instagram.
10. Encourage Followers to Share Their Thoughts
People want to be heard and they expect brands to show interest in their customers. According to the recent customer service statistics, 55% of customers want to do business with companies who care about their customers and 69% of people prefer proactive companies who show interest in their customers.
Although just a few customers would initiate sharing their customer experiences with your brand, most of your consumers are ready to tell you their thoughts if you ask them. Simply put, it’s important to encourage Instagrammers to share their thoughts.
It helps to understand your audience better and it leads to business growth. The easiest yet the most effective way is to promote your customer feedback survey on Instagram.
However, be ready that followers rarely have interest in filling it out unless you reward them. Let’s take a look at a great strategy in action from one Instagram profile. To encourage more followers to fill out their customer feedback survey, the company organized an Instagram giveaway and offered all participants a chance to win a $500 gift card.
When you decide to provide customer support on the platform, it’s a great idea to use Instagram tools that help you automate other processes. With the right tools, you can schedule content, manage your profile, run paid ad campaigns, get insights, and track performance–all in one dashboard. It helps to be a more productive social media manager who has time to provide excellent Instagram customer care.
Over the last years, customer expectations have changed. Today, people expect brands to provide customer service on channels their customers use often. With the popularity of Instagram, when brands use the platform to market products and get in touch with potential customers, the importance of Instagram customer care has grown, too.
If you have an Instagram presence, get ready for receiving customer inquiries from followers and visitors who have interest in your company. What is more, analyzing all customer concerns on the platform can take time and effort, so it’s important to learn from other companies and implement customer support best practices that can improve Instagram customer care for your business.
Val Razo has been working as an SMM consultant for almost 10 years. Today, Val helps SMBs establish and maintain a strong social media presence. She also writes for digital marketing blogs to share her tips & tricks and get in touch with like-minded people. Aside from talking about SMM, Val loves traveling, art, and poker.