People are now buying products online more than ever before. Even if they come across a product that they’re interested in at a store, they’re more than likely to look it up online to find reviews or experiences from existing customers before they spend their money on it. This has made it imperative for brands to establish an online presence that provides the information that their customers might be looking for.
That’s why you see a lot of brands interacting with questions, queries, and concerns about their products through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. They set up dedicated support and customer service teams that are tasked with helping existing and potential customers.
It goes without saying that this is a massive endeavor and certainly not one that a lot of small businesses can afford. That’s why there are so many social media automation tools that use the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to streamline customer service tasks that might otherwise require a substantial human team.
What are Instagram chatbots?
Instagram chatbots are a tool used by brands to provide customer service. They’re able to handle queries, questions, and concerns from humans by providing appropriate automated responses by relying on artificial intelligence.
Chatbots have become quite advanced now. They’re able to answer questions, make recommendations and even help connect the customer to a real human if their query has not been resolved.
It’s made clear to the customer that they’re communicating with a bot. The chatbot is integrated into the brand’s official Instagram account so users don’t have to go out of their way to interact with it. They have now become a legitimate customer service tool that’s in use by some of the world’s top brands.
Why Instagram chatbots make sense for brands
Instagram is widely used by customers to learn more about the products that they want to buy. They’re more often than not likely to reach out to the brand on Instagram to get more information about the product.
The social commerce features that have been built into Instagram have also made it a source of revenue for brands. So they must have the ability to address any questions or concerns the customers might have when they interact with the brand on Instagram.
Chatbots make the entire process very streamlined. There are many queries that can easily be answered through automated responses. For example, questions about shipping or return policies, product pricing, sizing, and availability can be handled by chatbots.
There’s no limit to the number of customers chatbots can cater to at any given time. A human customer service rep can only attend to one person at a time. With chatbots, brands no longer need a massive customer service team. Chatbots will filter out many of the queries that can be handled with automated responses, directly only those that genuinely require human assistance to customer service reps.
How Instagram chatbots can improve your customer service
1. Reduce wait times for customers
Customers expect things to move quickly online. They will not appreciate having to wait for a long time until a customer service representative gets free to attend to them. At times when there are a lot of customers requiring support, wait times can increase significantly and lead to a negative user experience.
Chatbots fix this problem as they’re instantly available to attend to all customers. An extra advantage is that while humans take time to type out answers, chatbots are delivering automated answers which means they can reply almost instantly.
2. Leverage data to make informed decisions
Chatbots are also a great source of data to find out exactly what your customers are asking about. Keeping an eye on the type of questions customers are asking can provide valuable insights into your products and let you know if there’s something that needs to be improved.
For instance, if the vast majority of customers are asking about sizing for a specific product, it might be because the product page doesn’t feature the sizing guide prominently. This would only require a simple tweak to the page’s design, leading to an improved user experience for customers shopping for products on your website.
3. Lead generation automation
Your lead generation efforts can also be automated using chatbots on Instagram. When they’re interacting with a customer, they can also pitch other products directly to them in the chat. This surfaces additional products to the customer, even those that they may not have known about.
Since they’re powered by AI, chatbots can make personalized recommendations based on the products that the customer is interested in, leading to a higher chance of a conversion.
4. Provide support in multiple languages
If you have customers across the globe, this adds a level of complexity to your customer service operations. There may be a need to provide customer service in local languages and that would require hiring a lot more resources, which will be an immensely expensive endeavor.
Instagram chatbots eliminate this hurdle as the technology has evolved enough to support multiple languages. A multilingual chatbot will deliver automated responses in a variety of languages, enabling you to provide improved and personalized service to customers across the globe.
5. Improve brand reputation
Brands that provide customer service better than their competitors do gain an inherent advantage through word of mouth. Customers are likely to talk about their positive experiences with others, thereby improving brand reputation.
Deploying chatbots has multiple benefits and chief among them is the speed at which queries can get resolved. When customers don’t have to wait to get the answers that they’re looking for, they will view the brand favorably and would likely return to purchase products from it in the future as well.
Don’t fire your customer service team just yet
Given the benefits of chatbots, it might feel tempting to transfer the entire customer service operation over to them, but that would be a mistake. You should keep a dedicated team that will handle all of the complex queries that the chatbot is unable to handle.
Furthermore, it’s also imperative to keep checking up on the chatbot’s activity to ensure that it’s working within the scope that has been defined to it, the automated answers are being delivered as desired and that there are no technical issues that could negatively impact the user experience.
Blamah is the founder of Web Collaborative, a full-service creative agency. He is an established marketing strategist and consultant. He is also a graduate of Bucknell University and native of Chester County, PA with extensive experience in business development and brand management.
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