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Georgia Kyriacou Unit 9 Competitive Advantage

‘Competitive advantage occurs when an organization acquires or develops an attribute or combination of attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors. These attributes can include access to natural resources, such as high grade ores or inexpensive power, or access to highly trained and skilled personnel human resources. New technologies such as robotics and information technology can provide competitive advantage, whether as a part of the product itself, as an advantage to the making of the product, or as a competitive aid in the business process (for example, better identification and understanding of customers).’ Examples of how companies try to gain competitive advantage: Level of service- This depends on the customer service the company provides for example the first impression they give to the customer this helps the customer decide whether they will visit the travel agents again. You make your first impression of someone within 3 seconds. The first impression is important when starting to build a relationship with your customers, as they say "You only have one opportunity to make a first impression." An example of a good first impression would be a neatly, smart dressed employee this would put across a good impression of the company and would make people want to come back to the company. “A first impression is the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person. It can sometimes form an accurate representation of the person, depending on the observer and the person being observed.” You are judged on a first impression by: The way you look, the way you present yourself and Eye contact. Why is this important?: First impressions are important because it is the first point of contact at which you start to build a relationship with your customers if you start build a good relationship customers will be more inclined to come back. In order to provide information quickly and efficiently, you need several skills: You need to be organised: you don’t need to know everything but you should at least know where you can get the information from if you don’t know it yourself. Product knowledge: you should know the information if not you should be able to quickly look up the information on the internet. You should also know information about your company for example opening times, who to refer to for complaints and so on. Expertise in using available technology: You should be trained and should know how to use the available technology if you don’t this will determine whether you provide efficient service. For example if you lose someone when transferring them on the phone you will not be able to give a good service. This is important because you will provide quick and efficient services and the customers will be more inclined to come back (repeat business). Teamwork: It is important for organisations to work well within a team to ensure that they offer fast and efficient services to customers, each person in an organisation is given a job to complete. This is important because it will allow them to offer fat and efficient services to customers.

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Georgia Kyriacou Unit 9 Communication-Effective communication is about more than just exchanging information; it's also about understanding the emotion behind the information. You should communicate with others clearly so things aren’t misunderstood. Staff training- All employees must take responsibility for their adherence to the organisation’s security policies, but it is down to the employer to ensure that they are appropriately trained. Security training for all staff – whether permanent, temporary or a contractor – should begin during any induction process, followed by regular ‘refresher’ training and briefings. Ongoing task-specific training should then be provided according to the specifics of each role. In some circumstances it may also be appropriate to incorporate an element of assessment. Training techniques might include formal presentations, workshops or scenario based role-plays etc. but could also include less formal formats such as road shows, intranet content, films or desk-top packages. By training their staff this means that companies will have an advantage over their competitors as all staff will be trained to the level their company expect this means that they’ll have an understanding of the company’s products and services. This is important because if the organisation meets the customers’ needs with the products and services offered so that they will come back and the company. Promotional activities- Promotional activities include window displays for example to promote discounts and special offers, Free parking this will encourage people as they believe they are getting something for free therefore they will pick this company offering it over another, promotions on TV, Radio and magazines, Exhibitions and themed evenings for example to draw people in with free food which will then make them more likely to buy a holiday from them. Lastly they promote holidays on social networking sites as these are one of the most used sites. Promotional activities are ways of getting more people to buy holidays from your company rather than another. Dynamic packaging- package holidays are holidays that include your transport, accommodation, rep and transfers. Problems faced by travel agents include falling commission, low cost airlines, fees for services and the internet. Response to this- Agencies had to change the way they did business if they were to survive the threats. By analysing staff to keep costs down (tmc’s) which means they can get over the cut in revenues. They done this by charge fees to their customers. This will affect future travel agents as they will be evolving more online and the internet meaning less high street shops. People are now taking all year round holidays therefore meaning that they’re more jobs. Lengthens high season for leisure tourism destinations investments to urban areas. Conference and meetings in 2003 were worth 7 billion pounds. Sales and conferences, managements, training courses and annual general meeting this has changed dramatically as now conferences and meetings are done via Skype and the internet a lot of the time. Incentive travel- Free holidays for staff to motivate them. Add ons- There is a website

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