At the end of last year, we carried out a customer satisfaction survey in cooperation with Feelback Oy, a research company. As before, the survey was conducted in the form of an online questionnaire. Our goal is to always improve our customers experience, as well as to learn about their future development and purchase plans, especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ability to match customer expectations is the key to satisfying cooperation and mutual market success. Therefore, the information coming from our customers is an extremely valuable source of knowledge for us and we consider it in the process of making business decisions. Customer satisfaction is an important indicator which allows us to forecast the future of the company and its performance.
Our 2020 survey was sent to all our direct customers, partners and distributors, worldwide, and included about 20 questions. Customers scored us very highly in the area of Customer Service, Product Availability and New, Interesting Products and Ideas. They also particularly well rated our activities in the area of CSR and sustainable development. Compared to the competitors, we were also very well graded in the same areas as above.
In the part relating to areas of significant importance to customers product quality came up, which is also a priority in our daily operations and for which we constantly work to improve our production processes, implement advanced quality management systems and monitor the properties and parameters of our malts. As compared with the responses given last year, the importance of Wide Portfolio and New Products appeared to be less important to customers.
In the survey we also asked about our new communication format, webinars, which we launched in May 2020. The webinars have been very positively received by the customers and listed by them as one of the three most important communication channels, alongside email communication and Viking Malt newsletter.
The results of the survey were overall really good, considering the difficult circumstances in which we all had to operate in the coronavirus time and the challenges associated with it that we had to face over these many months. However, we can still find some areas for further development. The most important aspects for the success of our customers in the future concern product quality, delivery time and pricing.
The positive information from the survey is that despite the pandemic our clients are rather optimistic for the future and just a small percentage of them is predicting operations decrease, while most of them are forecasting operations at more-or-less the same level as last year.
Thank you to all customers and partners who responded to the survey. Your opinion really matters to us. We look forward to discussing the survey with our customers more in detail when we meet next time!