How to Provide Customer Service on Instagram: 9 Best Practices


Hugh BeaulacFreelance SMM Manager

Friday, October 30, 2020

Instagram. It's one of the most popular social media tools out there. From generating leads to boosting sales, this platform is also vital for those in customer service. Here's how to provide world-class customer service on Instagram.

Article 9 Minutes
How to Provide Customer Service on Instagram: 9 Best Practices

When Instagram first launched in 2010, no one could have predicted that it’d become an important part of marketing.

With over one billion monthly active users, it’s no wonder that 25 million businesses and 2 million advertisers use Instagram for business promotion.

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Not only do brands show off their products and services in-app to hook the attention of potential customers, but Instagrammers also want to communicate with brands and get their customer requests solved. This means brands of all sizes and niches should be ready to provide customer service on Instagram.

Why use Instagram for customer service?

At first blush, Instagram isn’t the most obvious customer support channel. It’s not optimized for customer service, and it can be hard to train your team to handle customer service issues on this platform.

However, there are three proven reasons to use Instagram for customer service:

  • Use channels your customers prefer: as specified in one article by Hubspot, 90% of the Instagram community follow at least one business, and 150 million people start a conversation with a business every month
  • Help customers feel secure: since around 91% of adults agree that customers have lost control over how companies collect and use personal information, it’s a good idea to provide customer service on social media as it doesn’t require them to share their personal information
  • Make the most out of business-friendly features: from contact buttons to private conversations via direct messages and Instagram quick replies, there are many ways for companies to deliver excellent customer service on this platform

In this article, we’ll tell you how to provide customer service on Instagram and provide examples of 9 best practices for your inspiration.

Optimize your account for customer service

1. Mention customer service in your bio

Followers expect brands to solve their problems, so providing good customer service is a great way to increase brand loyalty and trust, gain more followers, and encourage positive word of mouth marketing.

If you provide customer service on Instagram, you need to tell followers about it, and your bio section is the best place to do it.

Why? The Instagram bio is the first thing people see when they visit your profile, so it doesn’t take much time or effort for Instagrammers to understand more about your customer support strategy.

Here’s an example of a company taking advantage of the Instagram bio:

Contact us Instagram author bioImage Source

And here’s how Plannersanon tells its followers that the company can’t meet customers’ direct messaging demands so that customers could use the website for customer service:

No DM Instagram author bioImage Source

Another good example comes from Con Edison. Although the company doesn’t provide its followers with 24/7 customer service, it offers alternative ways on how to get customer requests solved fast. What is more, Con Edison uses the bio link to redirect worried customers to its website where they can use a live chat:

Redirect link to customer service on Instagram author bioImage Source

If customers often reach out to your brand for customer support, use creative ways to tell them about the best ways of getting in touch with your customer support team in your Instagram bio section.

2. Add various contact buttons

When asking for customer service on Instagram, most users post comments, tag the brand, or slide into direct messages.

However, not all social media users want to use these methods. Some of them use Instagram to learn more about alternative support channels as they want to get an answer right away.

With the right contact buttons, it’s easy to tell your visitors about the ways on how to contact you. For example, you can also add a phone number and an email address:

Instagram contact buttonImage Source

Customers have different preferences, so the more contact options you offer, the better. It allows you to provide Instagrammers with omnichannel customer service.

3. Use Instagram quick replies

Instagram marketing takes time and effort, so it can be difficult to make up and publish all posts, monitor comments and brand mentions, communicate with followers, and get customer requests solved. When it takes hours, days, or even weeks to get a reply--your customers lose interest in your brand. Thus, it’s important to do everything fast.

If you use social media automation tools, that’s great. It allows you to put some social media tasks on autopilot and therefore save you time.

But if you want to take your customer service to the next level, consider using features like Instagram quick replies, which are pre-written responses you set up in advance to answer frequently asked questions you receive via direct messages.

Instagram Quick Replies feature

Once you’ve set up quick replies, there’s no need to type the same message again. Instead, you choose from the variety of saved quick responses and send the most relevant one to your followers.

Not only does it help your customer service team work easier, but it also increases customer service response time.

NB: You must run a business profile to access this feature.

Listen to your followers

4. Monitor the comment section and reply to comments

If someone follows you on Instagram, it’s more likely this person is interested in your brand and products. This means most of your followers are potential customers and existing ones who want to interact with your brand.

Simply put, your followers are your target audience who contribute towards your revenue. If you can keep your followers satisfied, chances are that your product can meet customers’ expectations. Thus, it’s essential to listen to your followers.

People leave comments on your posts for various reasons: some people want to support you while others want to get their requests solved or share their customer experiences with other potential consumers. In other words, the comment section is a great source of customer feedback.

No matter what type of comments your followers leave, it’s important to read all of them and reply where necessary, as it’ll make your followers feel heard and valued. Here’s how ShakeShack does it:

Company responding to customer's comment on InstagramImage Source

But if your followers are shy to share their thoughts, consider influencer marketing as working with influencers can encourage your followers to join the conversation. Here’s how one of Lulus ambassadors does it:

Instagram influencer encouraging followers to engage under the comment sectionImage Source

For followers, it’s easy to choose their favorite outfit and leave the number in the comment section. When followers share comments, it’s a win-win situation for both influencers and brands. Influencers get higher engagement rates, and brands get an opportunity to understand their target audience better.

5. Show empathy to your customers

Research indicates more customers use Instagram for shopping, with over 60% of users using it to discover products and services. When people find and buy products in-app, they’re more likely to share their negative experiences on this platform for a chance to get a solution.

When customers share their pain points with you, it’s essential to show empathy to them as it’s one of the most important customer service skills your team should have. Check out how ASOS uses this method to communicate with dissatisfied customers on Instagram:

ASOS showing empathy to customer on InstagramImage Source

Having a friendly customer support team is a must. When your customer support reps show empathy, not only do they respond appropriately to the situation, but they also help increase brand loyalty.

6. Protect customers’ private information

One of the easiest ways for customers to get a reply from a company is to publish a complaint in the comment section. However, it doesn’t mean you should make this conversation public.

When you ask customers to provide you with personal information in the comment section, you can put them at risk of identity theft. Thus, move the conversation to a direct message rather, just like Zara Home does it when solving customer complaints:

Zara Home moving the conversation to a direct messageImage Source

But if you get a negative comment and the user doesn’t reply to you, you can use an email address search tool and send a private email offering solutions to the discussed problem.

Provide proactive customer support

7. Feature FAQs via highlights

Proactive customer support is the future of excellent customer service. This means you can identify what issues can occur and offer solutions in time. As a result, your customers are happier and more loyal to your brand.

One of the best ways to achieve this on Instagram is to repurpose your FAQs into Instagram Story Highlight albums so that they can appear right below the bio section. Check out how BaliBody did it:

Instagram Story Highlight albums - FAQs featuredImage Source

When scrolling your Instagram profile, it won’t take much time or effort to come across these albums and get all questions answered in advance.

To hook your audience’s attention, it’s a good idea to make up descriptive highlight names and use a graphic design tool like Crello to create custom highlight album covers that stand out from the crowd.

8. Ask followers to share their thoughts

If you’ve turned your Instagram followers into customers, that’s great. However, it’s not enough to keep the business growing. Acquiring a new customer is 6-7x more expensive than retaining an existing one.

In other words, you can’t afford to lose your customers, so it’s important to increase customer satisfaction. One of the best ways to understand your customers’ thoughts on your products is to ask them--just add a CTA at the end of your caption:

Brand asking customers to share their thoughts on product/servicesImage Source

When people share their thoughts, you can analyze them and understand your target audience better. The more comments your followers publish, the more valuable insights you can get.

But if your followers don’t hasten to publish comments, it’s a good idea to organize an Instagram giveaway and invite participants to fulfill your customer satisfaction survey for a chance to win something valuable. Here’s an example of this strategy in action:

Example of Instagram giveawayImage Source

9. Monitor brand mentions

Not all conversations about your brand happen on your business profile. In fact, 96% of users who discuss your brand don’t follow it on social media.

When customers are angry about your product or service, they simply want to warn other potential customers of issues they may have with your brand, so they publish their customer experience on their profiles, just like in the example below:

Example of negative customer experienceImage Source

To save your brand reputation and handle negative comments, it’s vital to monitor brand mentions and understand your customers better. When you monitor brand mentions, you show that you take care of your customers and do your best to solve their problems once they occur. As a result, you can provide proactive customer service and predict potential problems in the future.

What is more, get ready to offer digital loyalty cards. This allows you to apologize for negative customer experience and encourage your dissatisfied customers to give your brand a second chance.


Instagram isn’t just about beautiful photos and videos of your products. It’s become an important customer service channel more people turn to, so brands should be ready to provide customer service in-app. Once you listen to your target audience and get their customer requests solved, you get a chance to stand out from the crowd and turn your followers into loyal customers who come back for doing business with you.


Hugh Beaulac

Hugh is a freelance SMM manager with over 7 years of digital marketing experience. Hugh has many tips and tricks to share, so he writes for business and marketing blogs. In his free time, Hugh communicates with foreign friends, travels around the world, and reads literature.


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