A Profitable Personality
Customers calling Crutchfield’s sales advisors or logging on to crutchfield.com don’t know that the company’s warehouse in Charlottesville, Va., is air conditioned, sky lit and equipped with a sound system that pumps out satellite radio. They don’t know that during the holiday season, Crutchfield managers hire masseuses to give 15-minute breaks to employees working the rush. They don’t know that smokers at Crutchfield have their own special gazebos outside, teasingly nicknamed “emphyzebos” by the non-smokers, or that the employee of the month gets a primo parking spot in the Crutchfield lot.
But the company’s founder thinks a lot of those extras contribute to the relaxed, upbeat voices of his staff, as well as their enthusiasm. “Our corporate culture is caring for people as you would want to be cared for,” said Bill Crutchfield, who started his business in his mother’s basement over 30 years ago. “It’s the values I learned from my family.”
So many Americans have come to trust Crutchfield’s sales team that Consumer Reports (December 2006) ranked it the number-one CE Internet retailer, with the highest score for customer support. And yet the company’s brand recognition nationwide is still relatively low.