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Hospitality is to welcome clients like precious friends who we met through our umbrellas.

What is the customer service at Makita Shoten like from the sales team?

“Customer service is like treating a dear friend you met through an umbrella.”

We want to talk with sales team about the meaning of selling umbrellas to the clients.
Kana: I had experienced on sales as a part time job but since I started working in Makita Shoten, I sell our umbrellas that my family and staffs makes in our factory and it is very inspiring to listen to the clients' comments and to be able to feed back to my team.

Q:Makita shoten sells product online as well..

Kana: Yes. Recently the number of online shopping is growing not only for personal use but also for selecting gifts. We cannot meet clients directly so that we try to check our umbrella one by one and wrap it and send with care. We often imagine about the client's face and we put the thank you letter in the box.

Q:You put hand written letter?

Haruko: when we opened our online shop, we decided to send our thankfulness with hand written letter. Then we happen to receive thankfulness letter from the clients in return! And they chose us for the gift occasion again.
Kana: we want to keep the hand written letter but since TV program and magazines introduced us, the sales and requests are dramatically increased and as we are only 3, sometimes we cannot take enough time to write letters now. But we want to keep sending our thankfulness....!

Q:Yoshie, you have been in the sales team from the beginning?

Yoshie: I do accounting mainly. But now, I also help sales team and I do stock control as well as wrapping & shipping products.

Q:Makita shoten cares about the communication with clients, but do you have any experience you felt the difficulty?

Haruko: Yes I have. We are the maker and it is recent that we start selling directly. But once we start to explain about our umbrella that only makers can talk, our lack of experience in sales becomes positive! We learn every day with each service.
Yoshie: we can explain our umbrella from makers' point of view with pride. But there are unexpected questions from clients.
Kana: that is why we need to respect how the clients feel and to understand their needs through conversation. In the beginning of my career here, I studied every elements and things to explain perfectly but recently, I realized that the clients want more than our knowledge and information.
Haruko: clients come all the way to our store saying " I heard there are something nice in Makita shoten".
Kana: I think clients expect us to understand their favor. They believe we have nice things so that I want them to spend comfortable time in our store to choose what they want as if visiting friend's house.

Q:I noticed that you walked out side with the clients.

Kana: I walked them to the neighbor who was weaving silk cashmere stole. Our clients come all the way to our shop so that I want them to enjoy our region itself.
Yoshie: we have more and more visitors every year. Especially on the third Saturday, several weaving factories open to the public to show their atelier and sell things and we also welcomes many clients on that day.

Q:I imagine you have next step for the future now.

Kana: I want to make our shop bigger. As we are the maker, I hope we can show the process of making next to the shop so that clients can enjoy special experience with us.
Haruko: our clients are various generation from 20 to 90 years old and once they buy our umbrella, they come back to buy others. So I think it is important to produce new umbrella more. Also, our sac using umbrella textile is very popular so we want to catch up the production.
Yoshie: I know Makita shoten since childhood and I only knew basic patterns like check & strip but recently we have more variation in beautiful colors and I like our umbrellas more and more. I hope we can show new variation toward our clients every year.
Kana: I hope we can do semi order service, putting client's name, choosing favorite handle, or selecting textiles!
Haruko: that is exactly what we can do as we are the makers. Also, we are happy to repair the umbrella.

Q:You mean makita shoten can repair umbrella?

Haruko: In Japan, we used to have small specialty shops in each town and we could buy things as well as repairing things there. But recently these shops are disappeared and repairing is kind of impossible so that it is surprising for many clients that we do repair still. We are the maker so that it is the greatest joy to repair clients' umbrella and be used for long time with love.
Kana: we are the sales team but we think our task is to meet our clients thorough umbrella and to tell our love to the umbrella.

Makita shoten is located in Nishikatsura, Yamanashi, by the foot of mount Fuji with beautiful nature, 90 mins from Tokyo. Please visit us. We are looking forward to welcoming clients.

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