How has Extensis found success in our chosen markets for nearly three decades? Talented employees, loyal customers, a keen understanding of the industry — these are the obvious answers. But what really sets Extensis apart are the core values that drive everything we do.
More than simple mantras to be glanced at and forgotten, these values define who we are as a company, how we interact with one another, and how we help our customers to succeed. They’re like New Year’s resolutions, only we renew our commitment to them each and every day instead of once a year. After all, our customers’ success is our success, and it’s these six core values that allow us to get there together.
We strive to live up to them each and every day — and we believe this brings some very real benefits our customers in the long run. Here’s how we do it.
Think Like the Customer.
This is where it all starts. If you can’t understand your customer’s needs how can you hope to truly help them? When we interact with customers, we strive to learn what they need, and not just what they’re asking for.
It’s only by adopting the same mindset as a customer that you can understand where holistic change might best be applied. Our goal is not just to sell products, but to improve our customers’ overall workflow — and that requires a solid understanding of how that workflow functions.
Perhaps even more crucially, the effort of thinking like the customer helps us step outside ourselves and show our commitment to more than the bottom line. Our customers appreciate this, and that can only lead to further fruitful collaboration.
There’s a saying about what happens when you assume something. In short, assumptions are the quickest way to get the wrong answer to your problem. Gut intuition is important, but even more valuable is the ability to shed your preconceived notions to better understand new, unfamiliar ideas.
With 26 years of success behind Extensis, it can be tempting for us to assume we know everything. That’s why we strive each day to learn new things, uncover new truths, and discover better ways of getting the job done. Our customers’ businesses are constantly evolving, and if we get mired in the idea that we know all we need, well, that will almost guarantee we’ll be left behind the times.
Extensis is a constantly evolving entity, and it’s only by acquiring new knowledge that we can fuel its growth in a positive direction that benefits both us and our customers.
Extensis is about more than simply making money. We also work hard each day to better ourselves. Maintaining a strong sense of curiosity is the cornerstone of these efforts, and we approach every situation — whether interacting with a customer or a talking with a colleague — with an open mind, hoping that we might pick up new ideas and new ways of thinking.
Central to our curiosity is a seemingly simple idea: We listen. It’s only by actually listening to our customers and colleagues that we can glean new information and perhaps even dig a bit deeper to discover unknown truths about how we might improve.
While we’ve had a long run of success, we recognize that we can’t become complacent. We have to keep evolving. This is what we want to do, and it’s what our customers demand of us. We are always learning and growing our knowledge base, so that we can better serve our customers.
To deliver the best possible experience to our customers, we must always think and act like a cohesive team. It seems like a cliché, but by working together, we can accomplish much more than a collection of individuals could ever hope to achieve.
Working as one team grants us each a ringside view of how our processes play out in practical terms. The more eyes you have on a process, the more likely it is that someone will come up with a way to streamline things for the better. It’s all about having context for how the systems in play actually function, and there’s no better way to gain this crucial context than for all of our employees to work together with a focus toward a common goal.
Just like in life, balance in business is absolutely critical. Whether you’re talking about people, tools, or processes, it’s all too easy to forget that each component is a crucial means to an end. Stress one too much, and boom, you’re left with a broken cog in your machine, which means less productivity and perhaps even a damaged relationship with a customer.
If it helps, think of Extensis as a machine. Each cog is dependent on every other cog, and a dramatic change to one will inevitably impact all others. To attain proper balance, we adopt changes gradually and with thoughtful reasoning. It will do us no good to implement a change in Area A if that change negatively impacts Area B. Instead, we strive to make smaller changes that add up to a holistic net gain.
Perhaps the most important of our core values, “Be Accountable” is exactly what you’d expect. If we say we’re going to do something, you can rest assured that it will happen.
The worst thing we can do is overcommit to an idea or request from a customer. That’s a quick way to damage a valuable relationship. However, the opposite is also true. By ensuring we see all of our commitments through to the end, we can build relationships with our customers that flourish on a solid base of trust and mutual respect.
Our core values are central to who we are as a company and as people. We consider them the guiding light by which we navigate the industry, helping our customers to solve their most pressing issues. So crucial are these core values, in fact, that they’re more important to us than our bottom line.
Not because we dislike making money, but because living up to these core values will make us more reliable, more trustworthy, and ultimately better equipped to serve our customers for years to come.
Click the link below to view our Core Values Book: