Pumpkin spice – the flavor of choice once the leaves begin to fall. Fall officially starts September 22 this year, however once September 1 hits, the pumpkin spice craze begins. The pumpkin spice latte obsession, most famously from Starbucks, has increased popularity every year making the beverage its most popular seasonal drink. We don’t only see this at Starbucks, the seasonal flavor is found in chocolate, cereal, cookies, yogurt, cinnamon rolls, even dog treats.
With the pumpkin spice industry booming – annual sales of pumpkin-flavored food and drinks – at more than $500 million last year, these businesses must be prepared for the peak season. The consumer demand for pumpkin spice-anything in September and October is no different this year. Companies have already begun scaling up for the obsessed consumers by staffing more baristas, customer service teams, and prepping inventory. In fact, Starbucks, in particular, understands their modern pumpkin spice latte (PSL) market so well, they’ve created PSL social media accounts.
The hilarious PSL Twitter account seems to have seasonality as well, posting pictures and creative captions of a coffee cup with orange sunglasses and rain boots, or at a computer, skateboarding, etc. Along with the seasonal photo shoot staffing to maintain the social media accounts, Starbucks must scale up the customer care to respond, in the most clever ways possible, to all it’s fans. The Twitter account has many tweets and replies all throughout September and October and very little activity the rest of the year. Starbucks news shared that “during the fall, customers express their #PSL enthusiasm with an average of more than 3,000 tweets per day.” This shows the importance of their social media customer service during this peak season.
Companies are aware of their peak seasons such as this, and prepare by staffing properly for the busy times. Whether your busy season is pumpkin spice, Black Friday deals, New Year’s resolutions, back to school, open enrollment, it’s important to use systems such as Five9 that can easily and quickly scale up during peak times and scale down once the season has ended. Businesses can’t afford to skip a beat when it comes to amazing customer experiences, which is why scalability to meet the needs of pumpkin spice consumers everywhere is not only necessary, but imperative.
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