Zendesk Integration with Instagram Channel, Limitations and Live Experience.
Hi There Zendesk Community,
I wanted to share with you our and my experience with Zendesk integration with Instagram.
We’ve been working on it for the past month, doing channel integrations, documentation, discussing and building workflows and procedures for our colleagues to go through.
There's some good things to be shared here, but my main point here is to share with the community our difficulties we have with Zendesk integration with Instagram.
We recently went live and are trying to operate with Zendesk as our centralized support application, integrating with our email, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
I'm writing 'trying' because as we went along with the integration and started to work live, we noticed some limitations with Zendesk integration with Instagram.
I'm aware Instagram channel integration is relatively new in Zendesk, but some of the limitations are really painful.
I'm going to share in this post two main limitations we’ve encountered, one with no viable workaround in my opinion, and another with a couple workarounds we are trying\implementing now.
- First limitation: Posts that are shared as direct messages to us are not seen at all in Zendesk tickets.
- Second limitation: Zendesk mobile app does not support chat in Instagram channel.
The first limitation is the most painful, with no viable solution in my opinion, and such a limitation that really raised our attention, as it unfortunately undermined our belief with the system.
- Posts that are shared as direct messages to us, are not seen at all in Zendesk tickets, and do not trigger tickets to be opened.
A common way our customers operate is:
- A client sees one of our posts containing one of our products.
- A client decided to share the post as a direct message to us, a common Instagram feature available at the post main page.
- After the client messaged our post to us in a direct message, he then went on with asking follow up questions on the product seen in our post: “how much does it cost?”, “do you have it in a different look?”, etc..
The fact that there is no indication whatsoever of a post that was sent to us as a direct message from a client really put sticks in our wheels.
How can we be sure we’re not missing out anything relevant while handling a client inquiry?
Clients share with us posts as direct messages throughout our entire conversation lifecycle, discussing custom orders and modifications. Us missing out on those messages will most likely cause confusion between our colleagues and our clients.
Not only do we need to go to Instagram when we know for a fact we are missing a message from the client, we should also double check our Instagram messages in the Instagram application to make sure we are not missing anything else, undermining our perspective of a centralized support application.
This limitation also causes us to be suspicious about what we see in Zendesk Instagram tickets, which really is something I don't want to happen in any of our systems or apps.
As a short term solution, I would expect at least a note comment on the ticket itself, saying that a post was shared as a direct message, and as a long term solution I would expect to see that message in full.
The short term solution is not far fetched, as you will see in the second limitation below a similar behavior.
Thanks for sticking with me so far.
Just wanted to give out some respect when it deserved, before moving on to the second limitation: Zendesk online support.
Zendesk online support has been really great the past couple of weeks, assisting me with integrations and investigations. Really almost every support engineer I encountered was capable and patient, providing fast assistance on several occasions.
After they saw our difficulties with the limitations, they all pushed me to write and share my experience with the Zendesk community about Zendesk integration with Instagram, indicating that posts can raise awareness and can really assist us in finding and pushing for a solution to our problems.
So, here I am, going through to the next limitation.
- Zendesk mobile app does not support chat in Instagram channel.
Replying publicly to Instagram tickets from the mobile app does not send the message to the Instagram user.
In addition, messages from Instagram users are not seen in the mobile app.
All we see is a note comment from the Instagram user who sent us the message, with the text:
Conversation with *User Name*
The fact that we cant even see the Instagram messages in the mobile app really stuck our process of work:
Up until now, every colleague with access to Instagram could have answered the client using the Instagram mobile app, boosting our business with the ability to answer clients basically from everywhere at any time.
Our Tier1 support team would notify one of our other team (tier2\tier3) colleagues when more information was needed on an Instagram conversation, and that team member could have answered the client inquiry anywhere, anytime.
Only our support team works 24\h a day, while other team members work in the office only during the day, five days a week.
Our colleagues are very committed and offer their support basically every waking minute, so us not seeing Instagram messages in our Zendesk mobile app really hurts.
So, as we can’t see Instagram messages on our mobile app, I’ve offered two workarounds:
First Possible Workaround:
- Submitting tickets and assigning it on the colleague we need a response from, while leaving an internal note.
When one of our colleagues sees that a ticket has been assigned on him, he then needs to do the following:
- Log in to the Instagram app and read the client's recent comments\conversation.
- Leave an internal note on the Zendesk ticket.
After an internal note has been submitted on the ticket, our support team replies publicly to the client with that message.
This workaround has a major flaw in my perspective:
At the second one of our colleagues needs to open up the Instagram app, we are missing the point here of one centralized support application.
Note: asking our support team to add the client's latest message as an internal note is not a viable solution in my opinion, as in that way we are missing out the conversation context and can most likely make crucial mistakes that will hurt our communication with the client.
Second Possible Workaround:
- Opening Zendesk support workspace on mobile browser.
Although Zendesk website compatibility is somewhat fine in the mobile browser, downsides are pretty clear:
Working in Zendesk support workspace via mobile browser requires us to play with the screen size several times for each ticket,
and can be quite uncomfortable working on tickets that way. this really isn't the way to work in my honest opinion.
To summarize the limitation of Instagram messages not seen in mobile app and its workarounds:
Although I prefer my colleagues working via Zendesk on their mobile browser, to keep all of our work communications centralized in one place, I understand how it will be uncomfortable for them, and that it would be much smoother to just open the Instagram app and then the Zendesk app.
I've suggested both possible workarounds throughout our company, and I'm waiting for feedback as we proceed with our live experience.
It's important to point out that I view none of these workarounds as a viable long term solution, and would really like this issue to be resolved.
I expect Zendesk to either show messages and make public replies available in the mobile app, or create a compatible browser version to mobile browser, making the work there more convenient.
From past experience I had with complex web applications, the latter solution feels more natural to me. Creating a highly compatible support workspace version for mobile browsers is a great way to avoid implementing complex systems into mobile applications.
That's all in regards to our experience and limitations we had with Zendesk integration with Instagram, thanks for sticking with me!
Feel free to comment with questions or insights, I would appreciate both!
I’m really open minded on possible workarounds I haven't thought about yet, and I will keep in mind to update here with new findings.
Ronen Miral, COO at Keyzar Jewelry.
Ronen Miral just wanted to follow up here to say that your first item has been resolved. Any media shared with the business should result in a URL which can be opened.
Hey Ronen Miral it's me again from that other post I just commented on.
I really appreciate the time you spent putting together this detailed feedback. As the product manager for our Instagram integration, I will definitely look into supporting media shares. I totally agree that this is a gap in the current offering and your example really helped highlight that.
As for supporting Instagram in the Support mobile app, this goes hand in hand with the request for WhatsApp to be supported in the app and I have already forwarded this along to the team responsible.
We really do want you to be able to centralize all communications as you mention and hopefully our future releases will reflect this.
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