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Instagram is the third most-used social media platform in Malaysia. Besides allowing users to edit, post, and share photos or videos with others, you can also send messages to other accounts via its Instagram Direct feature. While this is useful for people to connect with their loved ones, businesses can also leverage Instagram Direct to generate more interest in their brand, which will potentially convert into a higher volume of sales.

During the earlier stages, it's not much of a problem to deal with incoming messages one at a time. However, when your business account starts to grow and the volume of enquiries or complaints starts to increase (hopefully not the latter though), you might be saving a lot of trouble by integrating a chatbot on Instagram to increase the capacity of your customer service team.

What is an Instagram chatbot?

It is not the kind of spammy, annoying bots you might have come across on the platform (a million dollars for your old money, anyone?). Instead, it is a legal bot integrated into Instagram Direct that streamlines your conversations by automatically responding to messages. Depending on the rules and conditions you have preset, your chatbot for Instagram DM can provide immediate responses that greatly enhance your customer experience.

You may think that having a chatbot for Instagram DM makes your brand come across as unapproachable and cold. Quite the contrary, chatbots on Instagram , when used strategically, can encourage users to engage with your brand, thereby creating opportunities to deliver timely yet satisfactory customer experiences without sacrificing credibility.

One factor that consumers value from businesses nowadays is efficiency. A study from Tidio has found that:

About 44% of online users expect customer service teams to respond in less than 5 minutes to their queries

Almost 79% of shoppers would abandon their shopping carts if customer service was unresponsive.

Have these statistics convinced you to give Instagram chatbots a shot? Look no further as we guide you through the ins and outs of chatbots on Instagram in this article!

What are the benefits of using Instagram chatbots for businesses?

24/7 online support for your customers

24/7 online support for your customers on Instagram chatbot

No matter how dedicated your customer service team is, it’s still virtually impossible to stay glued to your Instagram Direct inbox all day long. Besides that, users are more likely to browse through social media and contact you only after working hours. With the assistance of an Instagram chatbot, your customers will be able to receive real-time support, regardless of the time of the day.

Better allocation of internal resources

How to provide high quality customer support for customers

Source: GIPHY

For every business, there will be common scenarios in customer service scenarios. For example: enquiry of order delivery status, enquiry of item prices, etc.

A chatbot on Instagram can be set up to provide quick responses to customers via DMs by cross-checking information with an existing database. Not only does this save a huge amount of manpower, but you can also delegate your customer service team to provide focused, high-quality support for complex situations.

Minimising human errors

Minimising human error with Instagram chatbot

Source: friendsgifs on Tumblr

Let’s face it, even the most expert texters have days where their messages might be riddled with typos or are sent to the wrong group chat. When customer enquiries are coming in at a high frequency, there is a greater chance of slipping up.

Nobody is perfect, but under these cirumstances a chatbot on Instagram might be the closest thing to that!

By setting up DM templates and integrating the necessary databases with an Instagram chatbot, you can drastically minimise human errors and avoid sending inaccurate information to the wrong user chatbox.

Reduce purchase friction

Reduce purchase friction with in chat payment links on Instagram chatbot

Source: Mailchimp on GIPHY

While Instagram is one of the best platforms to visually showcase your products or services to attract potential customers, dropouts are likely to happen during the checkout process as they might have to be redirected to another website to complete payment.

Also, customers might have questions to clarify about your product before making their decision, and when not promptly responded to, they would be less likely to proceed with their purchase.

Having a chatbot on Instagram enables you to address your customer’s concerns and provide in-chat payment links helps to wrap up the entire customer journey within the same platform, increasing sales conversion rates in the process.

Build brand loyalty

Nowadays, not only do consumers value the quality of a brand’s product or services, but they also want to be able to connect with the brand. 57% of consumers are willing to increase spending with a brand when they feel connected to it. In order to build customer loyalty and trust towards your brand, it is important to communicate and engage with them through comment replies and DM responses. An Instagram chatbot would be able to monitor conversations that are happening within your account and keep users constantly engaged.

Source: Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Gain valuable insights into your business

Get insights to power Instagram chatbot for sales

Source: fauxels on Pexels

When your customers know that you are responsive on Instagram Direct, you are encouraging them to share their feedback privately without any restrictions. With a chatbot on Instagram, you will be able to compile all this information by categorising and segmenting similar customer scenarios, in order to get an overall view of any problems that might need to be addressed.

Since everything is tracked by the chatbot, you gain access to actionable insights that inform you that, for example, the amount of delayed order delivery has increased within the past month, you can make a data-driven decision to switch courier service providers or to further streamline internal logistics. In the long run, these well-informed decisions form into robust revenue-driving strategies that propel your business to grow.

How can businesses in Malaysia use Messenger API to engage with their customers on Instagram?

In order to build an efficient and enjoyable chatbot experience for your Instagram followers, you should make use of various features provided by Messenger API and develop a chatbot messaging strategy that stays true to your brand voice and caters to your customers’ needs. Here are some things to take note of when implementing your chatbot for Instagram DMs:

1. Cover all bases

Before working on the technical side of setting up an Instagram chatbot API, you need to first take a step back and think of the most common customer support scenarios that might occur in your business as well as other business objectives that you want to achieve through social media marketing. Then, start crafting a variety of different chat flows for these scenarios.

You should automate all possible business processes that don’t necessarily require support from a human customer service agent, for example:

  • Enquiry of product prices

  • Enquiry of business operating hours

  • Checking on order delivery statuses

  • Scheduling appointment slots

  • Other FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Did you know? Messenger API provides features such as Quick Replies and Ice Breakers to provide users with options to quickly tap and start or respond to conversations with Instagram business accounts.

Instagram chatbot quick replies via Messenger API

Quick Replies function (Image source: Meta for Developers)

Instagram chatbot for DM for customer support

Ice Breakers function (Image source: Meta for Developers)

2. Personalisation is key

Besides response speed, McKinsey has found that up to 71% of consumers expect personalised interactions with businesses. There needs to be a balance between quick and personalised responses when setting up your chatbot on Instagram.

SleekFlow’s CRM platform, which can be integrated with Messenger API, provides a feature to segment your customers into groups based on various conditions such as profile information, the topic of conversation, and more. Through these categories, you will be able to provide a more personalised experience for different types of customers by setting up different message templates and responses for them. For example, new customers and returning customers will receive different welcome messages when they first initiate contact with your Instagram chatbot.

Read more about how AfterSchool, an online tutoring platform in Hong Kong utilised SleekFlow’s customer segmentation feature and more to streamline communication with their students.

3. Establish proactive communication

If your current Instagram chatbot strategy only focuses on dealing with incoming conversations, it’s time to think outside the (in)box!

Here are some other ways that you can utilise Instagram to expand your reach and enable your chatbot to connect with more of your followers:

Qualify leads with Instagram DM chatbot

Image source: ShopPop.com)

  • Instagram ads can be created to capture interest and direct users to initiate an Instagram Direct conversation with your business account

Comment auto reply on Instagram
  • Keyword triggers can be configured so that a specific message will be automatically shared with users when they respond with the relevant keyword

  • Rather than just limiting your conversations to people who contact your business, you can also reach out to users who drop comments on your posts, by utilising auto comment replies.

Find out more about SleekFlow’s auto comment reply function for Instagram.

Kiehl’s Malaysia has successfully used Messenger API for Instagram to drive sales

Kiehl’s, a luxury beauty brand, has been implementing features from Messenger API to stay connected with its loyal fans as well as reach out to its potential customers in Malaysia via its official Instagram account. Before Messenger API, it was challenging for their customer service team to manually manage various customer interactions, ranging from Story replies and post comments to Direct messages on their business account. Through utilising the power of automated messaging, Kiehl’s Malaysia successfully achieved a 30% increase in qualified sales leads, a 20% conversion rate from consultation to sales, as well as tripled their sales within two months.

Create a chatbot on Instagram for your business with SleekFlow

Ready to engage in more meaningful conversations with your customers? SleekFlow is here to support you with setting up your chatbot on Instagram via implementing Messenger API. To extend the conversation beyond Instagram, you can also consider SleekFlow’s omnichannel messaging function, which allows you to integrate various messaging channels such as WhatsApp, Messenger API (which enables Instagram chatbot for DMs), website live chat, and more into one single platform.

Unleash your potential of Instagram for business today!

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