Customer satisfaction surveys allow you to hear the voice of your customer at both the brand and location level. It can be a powerful tool in providing actionable insights to every level of the organisation, and ensuring your customers have a mechanism for providing feedback to help you improve your service delivery and the customer experience.

There may be many reasons for collecting personal data during the course of a survey. You may want to incentivise participation in the survey by running a prize draw or competition, or you may wish to use the survey as a way of creating a marketing database so you can send information about your products, services, special offers and promotions. From a technical perspective, you may also want to process certain personal data to identify and prevent fraudulent responses from being submitted, which could affect the integrity and quality of the overall data set.

Consider the following points when you next want to run a feedback programme:

1. Make sure you know why you are running a customer satisfaction survey and why you need their data. 
If you are going to collect and use your customers’ personal data, you need to be able to explain why. This is important not only for demonstrating transparency, but also for identifying the correct lawful basis for processing and for determining how best to respond to data subject requests. Identifying the reason for processing personal data can also be a guide for determining precisely what personal data is necessary. Remember that personal data should not be collected “just in case” and only those elements of personal data that are necessary for the purpose of the survey should be processed.

2. Be clear and transparent when asking for consent.
If you are asking a customer to opt in to marketing communications or allowing them the opportunity to request a member of your team contact them, you will likely be relying upon consent as the lawful basis. If this is the case, you need to make sure that it complies with the article 7 of GDPR requirements on the “conditions for consent.”. We would always recommend that you have clear, unambiguous opt-in statements at the end of the survey, and that you are presenting clear and transparent information.

3. Minimise the data you collect.
Within the context of a customer satisfaction survey, you want to collect structured data, coupled with open-ended commentary so you can build a window into the customer's perspectives about their experiences with you. Your customers would likely be able to complete the survey without providing you with any personal data, so bear that in mind when you do ask for their data. Only collect what is necessary when you need it, and never collect personal data “just in case”.

4. You are responsible for your third party vendors. 
Performing due diligence on any third party provider that collects, stores, or processes your customer’s data is essential. You want to be sure that your third-party provider has a robust set of appropriate physical, technical and organisational measures in place to ensure the personal data of your customers is sufficiently safeguarded from loss and unauthorised access. Remember, the acts or omissions of your provider could affect you and your customers. And, as far as your customers are concerned, the actions or omissions of your third-party providers are your actions.

5. Ensure you can respond to data subject requests.  
Some rights under GDPR will be enforceable irrespective of the lawful basis you are using, such as the right to be informed and the right of access. Be sure that you, and your third-party provider, can properly respond to these requests within the legal timeframes.

Find out how Market Force works to protect personal information in surveys. Market Force designs, implements, processes and analyses millions of customer and employee satisfaction surveys every month. Contact us for information on not only how to be in compliance with GDPR, but also what we’ve found to be effective survey designs, incentives, and how to analyse data for insights. 

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