November 11, 2021•
It seems that we are finally saying goodbye to the clash of many customer service departments.
Juggling multiple service channels.
FAQs come via Facebook, Instagram, email, phone, and more.
Few businesses can have extensive teams of agents specializing in one channel.
Many agents must split their attention across multiple channels, or businesses must make do with channel-specific agents while managers try to navigate multiple channels.
Thanks to advances in technology, tools now help relieve pressure from a number of channels.
In early to mid 2021, Instagram announced support for chatbots. An announcement that was welcomed by many customer service departments.
Customer service departments no longer have to worry about the avalanche of FAQs coming through Instagram, allowing them to spend more time on the customers who need it most.
The rise of Instagram chatbots raises several questions. What are the benefits of Instagram chatbots? How does Instagram stack up against chatbots on other channels? Are there any best practices for Instagram chatbots?
Response times that meet expectations
Social media platforms at their core exist to provide fast-paced entertainment.
Quickly read a headline, meme, or post, then move on to the next one.
For example, it takes the average adult less than 3 seconds to read a headline. A user could read 30 different posts in one minute.
Since Instagram is primarily an image-based platform, the fast-paced nature is amplified.
This has led to users expecting a brand to respond to a message in less than an hour ( source ).
In fact, the brand’s average response time is 5 hours ( source ), which is five times slower than their customer’s expectations.
This is where chatbots come in.
Customer service chatbots have an average response time of one second ( source ). For the vast majority of users, this means they can get the answers they need right away, exceeding their channel expectations.
See this case study of a customer service chatbot that reduced inquiries by 83%.
Every FAQ automated
FAQs are the bread and butter of chatbots.
A user asks a question and a chatbot responds in seconds, while agents spend their time where it really matters, with customers who need it.
With the potential to automate quite literally every question ever received, where should customer service departments draw the line?
We recommend that a customer service chatbot handle 150 to 200 individual FAQs. This number often more than covers the typical list of FAQs a business receives (and then some).
Staying below 200 helps improve the overall performance of your chatbot.
This ensures that the chatbot can answer a wide range of questions, taking the pressure off agents without being bloated.
A reach beyond Instagram
A phrase that, in all honesty, I imagine most of us are sick of hearing.
Concerns about the overused phrase aside, sentiment is a very real part of modern business.
While the phrase conjures up images of cost savings from downsizing, it often has a different meaning.
Doing less means avoiding tools and practices that cannot scale.
Take an Instagram chatbot.
If a chatbot only works on Instagram, even though it is extremely beneficial for the channel, it will never provide any benefits outside the channel.
However, provided you have a multi-channel chatbot provider like ubisend, your Instagram chatbot can help with different channels.
A single chatbot can be deployed on Instagram, Facebook, your website, and more. This provides customer service departments with a single tool that enables them to do more with less, in every sense of the term.
Instagram chatbots vs other channels
It’s worth noting that Instagram chatbots are at the beginning of a huge growth potential. The initial initial period associated with the launch of new technologies is long gone, and we now look to future iterations that provide a range of new possibilities.
At the time of writing, Instagram chatbots support the main message types:
- Text messages only
- Picture messages
- Carousel messages
- Quick answers (buttons)
These four message types are the building blocks of any chatbot conversation, allowing customer service departments to answer many questions.
Experienced chatbot developers may find that website chatbots support a wider variety of message types. Over time, we can expect Instagram chatbots to support a wider variety of message types as well. Until then, we have everything you need to create conversations that provide an exceptional user experience.
Helping customer service help the entire business
Instagram for business has typically been a megaphone for brands. It was a way for them to say “we’re here, and here’s our brand personality.”
In recent years, Instagram for Business has become a central hub for all business communications.
Customer service interactions, marketing and sales efforts, and brand building all happen within a single platform.
Before the launch of Instagram chatbots, it was difficult to keep these efforts concise, with everyone working together to drive the business forward.
Customer service departments can work with the wider business to refine chatbot responses, creating experiences that help the customer build the brand.
In addition, the following events often lead to an increase in customer service requests:
- Seasonal events
- New product launch
- Sales and similar events
What do all these events have in common? They are sold on Instagram.
Instagram chatbots can be used as a marketing follow-up, answering any initial customer questions.
This first line of defense helps reduce the pressure on customer service departments during the busiest time of the year.
This makes life easier for agents while improving the broader business effort.