Using Fly Fishing to Cast a Consumer-First Approach

  • November 12, 2019
NTT DATA Services Game Changer Dan Kinsey Blog

Fly fishing is a sport that requires true craftsmanship, patience and the ability to adapt based on the environment. Delivering healthcare solutions successfully with a consumer-first approach is not much different. Meet NTT DATA Services Strategy and Innovation Vice President, Dan Kinsey, who took lessons learned in waist-deep chilly water and added them to his client relations tackle box.

Q: Can you tell us about the mindset that you’re in when you're out there trying to catch a fish and how it parallels with the approach you take with client services?

A: Sure. There are definite parallels between fishing and certain client engagements. Both require preparation and creative thinking. You must be adaptive, flexible and open to change. Compared to other types of fishing, fly fishing requires finesse (versus brute strength). You have to be able to listen and observe the conditions all around you to determine the right approach and solution.

Q: So, you must “Go with the flow,” pun mostly intended?

A: Absolutely. In consumer-based solutions, interests, demands, channels, and preferences change — on a dime. You can't put your head down and go into a cave for six months and then come out and have a big reveal and say, “Look what we did!” It's going to be outdated before you even get it released. You may have a goal in mind, a master plan, but that plan is most likely going to change several times, so you have to remain nimble, ready, and willing to adapt and adjust on the fly.

If you don't take that approach, then the solution you spent so much time on could be ineffective by the time you get it out the door, which means you are spending lots of time and cycles on a solution nobody wants. You better let the consumer drive your focus regularly so you're offering what's most important to them.

Q: There’s a certain strategy involved in and out of the river too, right?

A: Fly fishing is very strategic, and you have to assess the conditions. If you rely on what worked on your last trip and you go in, and you start with those same lures at a different part of the river, or a different river altogether, well, you're probably not going to have a good day. First, you must call the local bait shop and learn about what bait or lures are most effective at that time. You have to understand what the weather is like — the conditions of the river at that time. It would help if you planned so you're well equipped — before you even get to the river. You decrease your chances of success if you don't do that legwork and read the signs. If you don’t do that, you're setting yourself up for failure.

Q: Not only being proactive but being predictive.

A: You may have done all that legwork, researching what worked for the guys who were out on the water yesterday. But the same strategy may not work today. You better be ready to change it up. Be ready to adapt and change it up based on your experience and knowledge of the conditions. You need to be proactive and even lean towards predictive to stay ahead of that curve.

Q: You work as a leader serving one of our largest healthcare clients. Tell us more about that?

A: We offer a diverse set of services for a major US healthcare provider. As part of that portfolio of work, I help guide a team that focuses largely on consumer-first solutions. Our outlook is that any person, albeit a patient, clinician, employee or partner, is a consumer. And regardless of the end-user or business case, we should always look for opportunities to ensure we’re creating solutions that optimize the users’ experience.

Q: Your team was recently presented with the challenge of potentially building over 50 new websites for this client. Your team offered a creative and efficient solution. Walk us through that, please.

A: That was an exciting opportunity for our team. It really started with some sound consulting and creative thinking. We worked closely with our client to help them clearly define the vision and business objectives that were fueling their desire to rebuild their entire public-facing web footprint, which was significant. There were clear technical challenges our client wanted to address as well, including poor site performance and architecture limitations. Instead of focusing on technology, we started with a problem statement. NTT DATA acted as a trusted advisor that helped orchestrate a solution that not only efficiently addressed their core business objectives but did so through a progressive, forward-thinking technical architecture and agile delivery method. The solution involved building a global framework for one primary parent website that could be extended to multiple child websites. The creative and efficient approach allowed our client to propel forward with their corporate strategy to redefine their brand and experience online.

Q: So, in building this new web presence it was important to cut once and measure twice — especially since this would be a mobile solution with hundreds of touchpoints, right?

A: If you're trying to build a brand and build loyalty around that brand, consistency in the experience is key. The redesign went far beyond simply adding some new colors to their websites. It involved completely rebuilding from the bottom up, offering a mobile-first solution. Making it a mobile-first experience is not an afterthought. It's not simply optimized for mobile. It's led by the mobile experience. Stats told us more than 60 percent of (our client’s) users access their sites on a mobile device. Taking those insights and pulling them forward and using them in a consultative way to shape the solution helped change the perception of what role (NTT DATA Services) could play with this strategic initiative.

Q: Trust and quality must be the cornerstones, right? The client has to trust that you’ll deliver quality solutions that exceed their expectations. It seems quite fundamental in many ways.

A: Exactly. It’s in our DNA. Taking a consultative approach that involves people, process, and technology. If you ignore any one of those legs of the stool, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.

Watch Dan Kinsey’s story here.

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Kristi Adams

Kristi Adams leads the marketing for NTT DATA Services Healthcare division. Kristi has worked for more than 30 years supporting Healthcare, Insurance, Financial Services and Public sector marketing, media and analyst relations, training and business development for some of the largest IT services and technology companies in the world.

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