As any brand becomes established it carries with it a reputation. In the case of the HOTWORX fitness franchise, the brand grew out from one location in Oxford, MS in 2017 to over 500 in 2023 and will cross the 600 mark in the beginning of 2024. The good will of any business is the reputation of its brand name, and that reputation can make or break the business. In order to build good will a brand must deliver the goods and services to customers in harmony with how they are advertised to the public. This is the brand promise. The brand will grow if the promise is delivered.
In any franchise, the franchise licensees who own and operate the locations are 100% in control of how those goods and services are delivered, and this requires a cooperative effort from all franchise owners within the brand to execute superior customer service to that end. It takes a massive force of teamwork to pull it off. If one location does’t play by the rules, then it can tarnish the reputation of the brand and reduce the value of the entire enterprise.
Customers expect the same high level of service and overall experience at all locations that display the brand name on the signage. What is it that turns a customer into a raving fan in the first place though? For the HOTWORX brand, in an effort to understand what it takes for the franchise to deliver what customers want, I have read thousands of the unsolicited 5 star reviews for hundreds of our locations, and I continue to review that customer feedback each year. This enables me, as the CEO, to gain first hand insight as to the reasons why HOTWORX customers love the brand so that we can double down on what is working for them.
From the very first time that I began this practice I noticed a pattern. The reviews fell into three buckets. Customers would write how they love (1) the workouts, (2) the concept and (3) the customer service. Sometimes they would leave reviews with one, or two, and sometimes all three categories. These three categories constitute the three elements of customer experience for HOTWORX. Think of a pie chart like the one below that represents the average ratio for frequency of 5 star review mentions within those three categories. As you can see, the workouts are what HOTWORX customers love the most. This is followed by the customer service and the concept itself.
Customers love the workouts because they are fast and effective within the framework of a unique virtual workout method known as 3D Training (heat + infrared energy + exercise). They also love the innovative 24 hour, tech forward, infrared concept, and of course, the hospitality of great customer service. When all three categories are executed at a high level, the franchise location can experience a high degree of customer satisfaction, and as a result, the brand promise is fulfilled to add to the equity value of the brand.
If the level of customer satisfaction is on the rise, then so is the value of the brand!