How to Design GDPR-Compliant Surveys for Customer Feedback

Blocksurvey blog author
Jun 25, 2024 · 4 mins read

GDPR compliant customer feedback

Source: Pexels

Simply put, the GDPR mandates a baseline set of standards for organizations to securely handle EU citizens’ personal data. Since clients’ personal data are very sensitive, GDPR compliance becomes very essential.

In this blog, I will discuss the following GDPR-compliant practices for creating customer feedback surveys.

  • Understand GDPR principles
  • Convey the Purpose
  • Protect Personal Information
  • Provide Email Opt-out
  • Process Data Internally
  • Check Third-party compliance
  • Collect Minimal Data
  • Update Privacy Policy

Understand GDPR principles

It is necessary to understand the GDPR principles thoroughly for designing a GDPR-compliant customer feedback survey. This is because you may receive sensitive customer details during a customer feedback survey.

All organizations, from small businesses to large enterprises, must be aware of all GDPR requirements before designing their survey.

The GDPR original reference itself contains 11 chapters and 99 articles. You can find the GDPR reference here.

Make sure that the survey administrator is trained well on GDPR principles and best practices. Ensure they understand their role in safeguarding the participant data and maintain compliance throughout the customer feedback survey process.

How BlockSurvey does it?

BlockSurvey provides you with a plethora of blogs to get a sufficient understanding of GDPR. You can refer to those GDPR blogs here.

Convey the Purpose

GDPR data collection rules compel organizations to be more thoughtful while seeking data from their customers. You are required to disclose the purpose behind data collection.

You should provide sufficient information and the consent form before offering your feedback questionnaire to the customer.

It is the survey owner’s responsibility to inform the respondents of the reasons for collecting customers’ personal data.

The organization is obliged to provide the following information.

  • Where is data stored?
  • How long do they process data?
  • In what ways will data be used in the future?

Remember that personal data refers to the respondents’ name, email address, phone number, etc. You should use such information only within the scope of the given consent.

Be completely transparent about conveying the purpose of data collection.

How BlockSurvey does it?

On the welcome screen of BlockSurvey (for surveys created using BlockSurvey), you have sufficient space to convey your purpose of data collection.

Protect Personal Information

According to GDPR, companies that collect PII (Personally Identifiable Information) of their customers (data subjects) must protect the data from internal and external threats.

As technology has improved, the scope of PII has grown considerably. Under the GDPR, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) **** includes the following.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Financial information
  • Login ID
  • Biometric Identifiers
  • Geographic location
  • IP Address

Utmost Care should be taken to protect the above Personal data.

How BlockSurvey does it?

BlockSurvey provides an “Anonymous Seal” feature, which will turn off the collection of personal data. This feature helps to create trust between the survey creator (feedback collector) and the respondent (customer in our case).

Provide Email Opt-Out

When customers are sent feedback surveys via email, customers should be able to choose whether to continue receiving survey invitation reminders. To Opt-Out, customers can ask the survey taker to remove them from the list of people invited.

The Opt-Out option should be clearly marked in order to be easily visible to those who choose to Opt-Out. It is a good idea to have an opt-out link at the bottom of the email inviting customers to take your feedback survey.

No matter whether email surveys are sent to known or unknown audiences, the Opt-Out link should be labeled.

The wording of the Opt-Out option can be customized (like unsubscribe or not interested) to make more sense to the audience.

How BlockSurvey does it?

With BlockSurvey, your clients can opt-out anytime, even while taking the survey. This is because the data will be collected only when customers press the Submit button.

Process Data Internally

Make sure to process the customer feedback data internally and ensure no information gets leaked outside the organization's premises.

Most of the survey creation tools allow you to download the reports. If these reports are shared across different departments, they must be classified as “for internal use only” so that no data moves outside the organization.

How BlockSurvey does it?

With the decentralized nature of BlockSurvey, even BlockSurvey cannot track your data. You are the complete owner of your collected data. No tracking of your data is possible in BlockSurvey.

Check Third-Party Compliance

When integrating customer feedback data with third-party applications, you should verify beforehand that those third parties comply with GDPR regulations. This can be achieved by updating vendor agreements to comply with GDPR.

Ensure that while creating a GDPR-compliant survey, your third-party provider has appropriate physical, technical, and organizational security measures in place.

This ensures that the security and privacy of your customer’s data are not compromised.

How BlockSurvey does it?

BlockSurvey provides native integration with many third-party tools. Check the tools’ GDPR compliance before choosing to connect with third-party tools.

Collect Minimal Data

The principle of Minimal data collection means that a data collector should limit the collection of personal information to what is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish a specified purpose.

In addition, they should retain the data only for as long as necessary to fulfill that purpose.

Frame your questions to avoid unnecessary intrusion into participants’ privacy. This will establish trust with the customer while collecting feedback.

Therefore, follow the principle of data minimization by only collecting information necessary for the survey’s objectives.

Update Privacy Policy

It is important to have a Privacy Policy for successful customer feedback collection.

Provide the privacy policy on your website in the language that your respondents understand. It is also good to link your Privacy policy at the beginning of your survey.

In the privacy policy, explain why you require the feedback data and what kind of customer information will be collected. Also, mention how long the data will be kept.

List all third parties you use for collecting and analyzing personal data.

Mention the contact details of the Data protection officer in your privacy policy.

Always ensure the Privacy Policy is updated regularly to keep meeting the evolving GDPR requirements.

Better Finally

GDPR ensures your customer privacy and helps them eliminate the fear of giving out their data.

Though organizations may perceive that GDPR data regulations might stop them from collecting data, they actually have the potential to do the reverse. With GDPR in action, customers will feel confident that their responses will not be misused, which encourages them to share their honest feedback.

If you are curious to know more about GDPR, try reading our GDPR blogs here.

How to Design GDPR-Compliant Surveys for Customer Feedback FAQ

What is a GDPR-compliant survey for customer feedback?

A GDPR-compliant survey is a feedback collection tool that adheres to the regulations set by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which includes ensuring privacy, transparency, and consent in the collection and processing of personal data.

Why is GDPR compliance important for customer feedback surveys?

GDPR compliance ensures the protection of personal data, builds customer trust, and avoids potential fines or legal consequences for non-compliance.

How can I make my customer feedback survey GDPR-compliant?

Include clear consent for data collection, ensure data is securely stored and processed, limit data collection to what's necessary, and provide a method for customers to access, correct, or delete their data.

What information requires consent in a GDPR-compliant survey?

Any personal data, such as name, email address, location, or any other identifiable information, requires explicit consent from the respondent.

How should I ask for consent in a customer feedback survey?

Consent should be asked explicitly using clear and plain language, giving a clear option for the respondent to agree or disagree.

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blog author description

Sarath Shyamson

Sarath Shyamson is the customer success person at BlockSurvey and also heads the outreach. He enjoys volunteering for the church choir.


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