The story of Snipers Den paintball Melbourne goes back much further than the 5 years we have been open. As the founder of Snipers Den I think it may add some clarity for our customers to understand what is important to us as a business and why we strive to be the best paintball field in Melbourne.
Back in 2001 I began working at a paintball field in Victoria. Paintball is a great weekend job and I had a ball.
Even at that early stage I felt that there was a lack of customer service and quality being delivered in the industry.
Given the small amount of paintball fields within Victoria, customers had fewer options to chose from. Unfortunately back then, the lack of customer focus for these fields did not seem to have much impact on the bottom line for these paintball operators.
In addition to this, the layout and construction of Melbourne paintball fields were also very basic. Typical fields were constructed of piles of tyres and old septic style pipes and pallets. As you can see, there was certainly room for improvement in the quality of the fields and customer service approach.
By 2003, any opportunity for improvement to the quality of the paintball fields was stopped short. A dramatic move by the Victorian Government of the time saw an update to the legislation, effectively prohibiting paintball fields from accepting customers without a paintball license. The Victorian Paintball industry closed down overnight.
With the Paintball Melbourne industry essentially dead, 2 fields sprang up very quickly over the Victorian border into NSW. In spite of this paintball fans and customers weren’t deterred – many driving the 4hrs to the border to play. What most people didn’t realise was that there were actually 2 fields across the border – within about 1km of each other.
Significant differences were evident across the 2 fields however.
The first field invested very heavily in the construction of their fields, selection of their equipment and infrastructure designed to support their customers. The second field did not.
I believe that this was the first time that I recognized the benefits in investing in a quality experience for customers. I saw the impact that was had on the customers experience when they sought the services of a venue that had severely restricted investment in both the development of the fields and the equipment provided. The pursuit of low cost options for the owner, undermined the awesome fun customers could have when playing paintball. Unfortunately customers were still charged the same as those attending other fields, in spite of the lack of service. This appreciation still remains with me to this day.
In 2006 the laws for Paintball Victoria changed, allowing general customers to play paintball again in Victoria. I worked in this local industry for a brief period.
The fields that hadn’t run for years opened almost immediately. Sadly there was initially no change to the quality of the venues setups and they essentially continued trading as they had done before the law change in Victoria.
At this point a new generation of paintball field began to enter the Victorian market.
Many of these companies evolved from businesses that initially marketed on behalf of other paintball fields. You may have seen these venues advertising Melbourne paintball experiences in shopping centres and door-to-door to your house or business.
For the record – Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne is an independent paintball field and hates this practice as much as many people would. We feel that this form of forced selling can at times be misleading, if not deceptive, and has caused many people to have a negative association with paintball around Victoria. As a result Snipers Den paintball is fiercely independent and does not take part in what we see as a very negative practice.
In 2008 we started work on developing our very own Melbourne paintball field. It took almost 12 months to get approval, finally opening the doors by August 2009. With the way the market was laid out, and drawing on my previous experience, the Snipers Den team decided to change the approach and attempt to shake up the industry a little.
By focusing on customer service, quality staff and the best themed fields we were seen as a unique option in the market. With Snipers Den refusing to follow the other venues down the road of direct marketing in shopping centres and door-to-door we were immediately at a large disadvantage from a marketing perspective.
Although this caused us to have a slower start to our competitors, it led to massive repeat business and a referral market from happy customers. People loved to play paintball in Melbourne at Snipers Den. Year on year we have had more people play paintball at Snipers Den, and this continues to grow. And this, in an industry that we are told is declining!
Make sure you bring your next group to Snipers Den paintball and find out for yourself why we are the best option for Melbourne paintball.
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