Niall Norris is the sales director at CampManager
(www.campmanager.com), a company that provide Park Management and Booking Systems to campsites and holiday parks throughout the UK & Ireland.
What was your career path?
Having spent 29 years in sales within corporate banking, developing client relationships and providing added value solutions for their businesses, the opportunity arose to leave the banking world and work with my brother in CampManager. That was 10 years ago, and the business has grown to have over 400 campsites and holiday parks using the CampManager software solution.
What changes have you seen?
10 years ago, most bookings were being made via the telephone. We have seen significant growth in the number of online bookings, with some of our customers receiving up to 90% of their bookings online. With CampManager you take commission-free bookings on your own website, saving staff valuable time, automating the booking process, and generating more bookings for your business.
How do you predict things will change in the next five to ten years?
Customers are tending to go away on breaks more regularly but for shorter periods and are booking last minute. The Glamping market has seen considerable growth with a great selection of luxury and different accommodation types attracting the younger generation.
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and by whom? My first sales director said, “Sales are important, but customer retention is more important.” Customers will remain customers if you provide a quality product which is competitively priced, with excellent customer service and always be available to speak to them.
What do you most like to spend your time doing out of working hours?
A good walk in the countryside followed by a few pints of Guinness. I enjoy good food, having the ‘craic’ and spending time with my family (4 children and three grandchildren).
Your dream dinner guests?
Jack Reacher and his creator, the thriller author Lee Child and Keith Floyd a restaurateur and food writer. I love his humour and alternative approach to cooking. Do you have any claims to fame? Sat beside and chatted to Faye Tozer on a flight from London to Belfast nearly 20 years ago and only realised when I got home and saw them on TV that she was in the band Steps. My daughter didn’t forgive me for some time for not getting her autograph.
Where do take your holidays?
I love the outdoors and have been tenting for over 40 years – nothing better than heading off with my wife in the car with our tent and going where the mood takes us. If I need to get away to the sun – Majorca in the mountains with a good bottle of red wine.