In the last decade, when the number of monthly active users on Instagram has reached 2 billion people, the platform has become one of the most effective marketing channels for companies of all sizes and niches.
But when you have an Instagram presence, posting photos that promote your product or service isn’t enough to interact with potential customers; you should also be ready for providing customer service as modern people reach out to brands on platforms they use for discovery and research.
Why Should Small Businesses Provide Customer Service on Instagram?
Not all small businesses see potential in using Instagram for business and just a few of those who have an Instagram presence bother about providing customer service.
At first blush, small business owners don’t have much time to monitor customer issues or budget to hire in-house customer service reps.
However, here are three main reasons for small businesses to provide customer service on Instagram:
- More and more people contact brands on Instagram: It’s no secret that people use Instagram for product discovery and they are more likely to contact your company if they have questions or concerns in-app as it’s the easiest and the fastest way to communicate. For small businesses, this means the importance of monitoring customer inquiries.
- People buy from brands they trust: Being a small business means constantly proving to people that your product is worth buying and your company is trustworthy. When you provide superior customer service, you show that you care about your clients–both existing and potential ones. It increases brand trust and therefore social media followers are more likely to become leads and customers.
- Instagram has various in-built features for customer service: The platform has a wide array of features that help businesses provide customer care in-app. With clickable links, you can redirect customers to your live chat and when you add various contact options in the bio, you give people a chance to choose the best way to get in touch. Plus, you can set up quick replies in Direct Messages to solve frequently-asked questions fast.
When you provide customer service on Instagram, you get a chance to boost customer satisfaction and therefore encourage people to spread a positive word about your small business online which also means the possibility to increase Instagram reach.
In this post, you’ll read about five tips for small businesses on providing customer service on Instagram.
- Add Different Contact Options
People have different preferences when it comes to contact options. Some customers never use a call center and prefer sending a message on social media; other people want to use a live chat to get a reply fast. In short, you have to offer different contact options to keep your audience satisfied.
When you set up a business profile, Instagram allows users to add several contact options: phone, email, or DMs. But if having these options isn’t enough for you to answer customer questions, you can also make the most out of a clickable bio link and create a landing page that helps interested people to contact your customer support team via live chat or a virtual phone number.
Check out how Ryanair uses a landing page to solve customer inquiries fast:
- Hire a Social Media Moderator
When starting out on Instagram, many small business owners don’t have the budget to hire an in-house social media team. Most of them try to manage Instagram on their own, but it takes much time to create and maintain an Instagram marketing strategy, make stunning visuals, write engaging captions, and communicate with fans.
If you’re seeking out a cost-effective way to interact with your followers and visitors, it’s a good idea to use a freelance marketplace to find and hire a social media moderator who can keep track of all brand mentions, incoming messages, and comments.
- Implement Customer Self-Service
Most customers value their time and they don’t want to waste it waiting for a reply from your customer support team. Whether you don’t have a possibility to provide customer service on Instagram or you simply want to help your customer service representative, you can implement customer self-service to give customers a chance to find their own solutions. That’s a win-win for both parties.
Here are several ways to use customer self-service on Instagram:
- Make a knowledge base on your website and link back to it in the bio section;
- Create a FAQ Instagram Story Highlight to add all potential questions people may want to ask;
- Use explainer videos to tell your customers how to make the most out of your product or service.
For example, NapoleonCat often uploads explainer videos to its Instagram profile to introduce new features and help customers understand how to benefit from them. After watching, viewers have fewer questions which mean fewer customer requests.
- Ask Your Followers for Feedback
If you aim at providing excellent customer service on Instagram, it’s important to think about proactive customer care. This means you should understand your customers, predict their questions, and solve requests before they occur.
Instagram offers many ways to collect customer feedback. For example, you can add a link to your customer survey in the bio or let your creativity run wild and create a series of polls on Instagram Stories. No matter what ways you choose to ask your followers for feedback, the most important thing is to listen to them and implement feedback once they share it with you. After all, people want to be heard.
- Work with Instagram Influencers
Living in the era of paid ads, when sponsored posts bombard users from all sides, practically every business owner knows about the importance of word-of-mouth marketing. When other customers recommend your company to their friends and family, people are more likely to give your product or service a try. That’s why businesses ask Instagram influencers for brand endorsements.
When it comes to providing customer service on Instagram, you can team up with micro or nano influencers and encourage them to start a conversation about your company with their small yet loyal followings. It’s just another great way to understand your target audience better, predict their requests, and solve them in advance.
Moreover, you can repurpose influencers’ feedback for your social media profiles to provide social proof, just like in the example below:
Instagram marketing isn’t a new option for small businesses. With the demand for customer service on social media, small businesses should be ready for solving customer inquiries on platforms they use for brand promotion. Having an Instagram presence, you can get a big volume of customer requests from existing and potential customers. When it takes hours, days, or even weeks to hear back from your brand, people stop doing business with you. Thus, you’re welcome to use the above-mentioned tips to provide customer service on Instagram with ease.