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Microsoft Forms vs Qualtrics: Choosing the Best CX Survey Software

Blog by Ben Goodey
November 14, 2022

Microsoft Forms and Qualtrics are well-known surveying tools used to collect customer feedback to improve customer experiences (CX).

Both tools are reliable and widely used. Qualtrics is a powerful solution that helps you take action based on CX insights. In contrast, Microsoft Forms is a simple surveying tool that’s easy to use but slightly limited.

To know which software is best for you, it’s important to consider your use case(s), business model, budget, and the maturity of your customer experience management (CXM) program.

For example, if you’re a Microsoft 365 subscriber and just need to conduct simple surveys (e.g., for basic market research), then Microsoft Forms is a great, cost-effective option. However, if you need a full-fledged CXM solution, Qualtrics may be a better choice.

Similarly, if you’re looking for a B2B CX solution to help you improve customer experiences, reduce customer churn, and increase revenue, CustomerGauge is the best choice. Our platform helps you grow account sizes through cross-sells, upsells, and referral marketing.

So, which software should you go with: Qualtrics, Microsoft Forms, or CustomerGauge? We’ve reviewed all three and highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of each, to help you make an informed decision.

Introducing Microsoft Forms, Qualtrics, and CustomerGauge

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a simple survey software included with Microsoft’s 365 suite. The platform has essential surveying features, including multilingual support, a range of different question and branching types, and basic analytics.

However, unlike Qualtrics, Microsoft Forms isn’t a full-fledged customer experience software. It lacks more advanced surveying capabilities, for example, giving you very little control over who can fill your forms in (including repeat entries).

Microsoft Forms is easy to use and requires minimal setup, making it a great option for simple, small-scale surveying needs.

But, if you need a complete CX platform, you’ll need to consider a bigger player.

  • Price: Included with Microsoft 365 – not sold separately.

  • Best for: Businesses of all sizes that just need to conduct simple surveys.

  • Top 3 industries: Information Technology and Services, Pharmaceuticals, Education Management.

  • Customer service G2 rating: 8.8 for Quality of Support.

  • G2 score: 4.4

Qualtrics

Founded in 2002, Qualtrics is one of the biggest names in experience management.

Qualtrics has excellent surveying features with multilingual support, branch logic, different question types, and complete control over who fills your forms in. For example, you can enable anonymous filling in while restricting entries to one per person.

However, the value Qualtrics offers extends beyond surveying. The platform also analyzes your CX data and helps your team take action based on it. For example, Qualtrics’s insights help team members close the loop quickly to prevent churn.

Qualtrics is a mature CX platform provider with vast experience in multi-departmental applications, pushing data to Sales, Marketing, and Products teams. The vendor is also featured in Gartner’s 2020 Critical Capabilities Report with the second highest scores for enabling B2B, B2C, and B2B2C business models.

  • Price: Qualtrics CustomerXM’s packages start at $1500 annually.

  • Best for: Companies of all sizes.

  • Top 3 industries: B2B, Financial Services, Retail.

  • Customer service G2 rating:: 8.7 for Quality of Support.

  • G2 score: 4.3

CustomerGauge

Gartner’s Critical Capabilities report rated CustomerGauge as #1 for B2B and B2B2C, and recognized the platform’s exceptional capabilities for B2B sales enablement.

While most CX tools focus on the research and analytics side, CustomerGauge additionally prioritizes taking action. The platform helps teams link their CX programs to financial data and growing account sizes and revenue with targeted upselling, cross-selling, and referral marketing.

CustomerGauge focuses on Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and complements NPS data with Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES) insights to give you a holistic overview of customer sentiments.

It’s also the only CX platform that currently monitors for absence of signal, the hidden churn indicator.

  • Price: Starts at $29,800/30 users (just under $1000/user annually).

  • Best for: Mid-market and enterprise B2B and B2B2C companies looking to reduce churn and increase revenue.

  • Top 3 industries: Technology, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Manufacturing.

  • Customer service G2 rating: 9.6 for Quality of Support.

  • G2 score: 4.6

Gartner’s Perspective: Qualtrics and CustomerGauge

Gartner’s 2020 Critical Capabilities Report evaluated the top 14 customer experience vendors to see how they fared for enterprise B2B needs.

The evaluation included top vendors like CustomerGauge and Qualtrics, but not Microsoft Forms, likely because the latter is primarily a surveying tool and not an end-to-end CX solution.

Gartner’s report vetted CX providers for core product capabilities like advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics, and customer journey orchestration. Qualtrics was ranked in the top 3 for B2C, B2B, and B2B2C needs making it an excellent, well-rounded CX vendor.

However, CustomerGauge was ranked as the top choice for B2B Enterprise needs, and it was recognized as the best platform for sales enablement.

Gartner B2B CX rankings

Microsoft Forms vs Qualtrics vs CustomerGauge: According to G2

G2 is one of the most reliable sources of customer reviews for software.

Their reviews reveal how customers feel about Microsoft Forms, Qualtrics, and CustomerGauge. As you can see from the comparison table below, Microsoft Forms is preferred for its ease of use, setup, and administration.

On the other hand, CustomerGauge has the highest overall rating, and the platform is the highest rated for its quality of support, commitment to being a good business partner, and the product’s direction (i.e. how its development is coming along).

Microsoft Forms

Qualtrics Customer Experience

CustomerGauge

Criteria

G2 Rating

G2 Rating

G2 Rating

Star Rating

4.4

4.4

4.6

Largest Market Segment

Enterprise (41.9% of reviews)

Enterprise (58.7% of reviews)

Mid-Market (43.6% of reviews)

Total Number of Reviews

242

322

39

Meets Requirements

8.9

8.7

8.6

Ease of Use

9.0

8.3

8.7

Ease of Setup

9.3

7.4

8.6

Ease of Admin

9.1

7.7

8.9

Quality of Support

8.8

8.4

9.6

Has the product been a good partner in doing business?

8.8

8.5

9.6

Product Direction (% positive)

8.6

8.4

9.6

How Microsoft Forms, Qualtrics, & CustomerGauge Customers Feel

Microsoft Forms Customers Say…

Strengths

Customers like Microsoft Forms for its ease of use and simplicity.

One reviewer shared a detailed breakdown of how Microsoft Forms helps their small businesses:

“1. Good tool for creating surveys without any Development.
2. This works well for non-development companies that do not have to be dependent on anyone.
3. create survey polls and integrate them with other MS tools like Excel and MS Access.
4. Generate Analytics and populate data.
5. it has its inbuilt plugins to enhance surveys and polls and for capturing feedback.
6. this can be used for internal purposes only and has limited access.”

(Engineering Manager, Small Business)

Another praises the tool for its feedback collection capabilities:

  • Microsoft Forms has created an easy way for us to update in-house forms and documents. But the best feature has been being able to create surveys and forms to keep in touch with our customers and welcome feedback from them easily and effortlessly as well as update customer information.” (Business Consultant and Sales Representative)

Cautions

Although Microsoft Forms is praised for its ease of use, some users find it to be difficult to customize:

  • The survey design is not very customizable. But the worst thing is what happens after you get the data. It drives me crazy that if someone selects "Other" and writes in a response, then you can't easily find and read all the "Other" responses. You have to search through the spreadsheet to see if anyone wrote something in just by eyeballing if it's different from the standard responses. Also I just wish all of the analytics were a lot smarter—tell me what I need to know.” (Senior Copywriter, Enterprise)

  • I don't particularly appreciate that it takes time to learn how to branch questions. I wish there were a tutorial, or it was more accessible.” (User in Education Management, Enterprise)

Qualtrics Customers Say…

Strengths

Qualtrics is valued by customers for its rich feature set and CX capabilities:

  • Coming from a company where customer feedback and sentiment was captured across multiple channels and systems, Qualtrics has provided a solid, scaleable, and feature-rich platform that can serve the needs of many departments and teams across the enterprise.” (Administrator in Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, Enterprise)

  • Partnering with Qualtrics has provided us with the right tools to define, measure, and prioritize different member experience journeys throughout our credit union. Since we started utilizing the tools available with Qualtrics, we have been able to make impactful organizational changes based on the feedback received from our members, as well as it has helped strengthen and optimize the daily member experience. If you are ready to be a leader in your industry and offer world-class experiences, I highly recommend partnering with Qualtrics!” (Member Experience Specialist, Mid-Market)

Cautions

Some customers have highlighted how Qualtrics can be overwhelming at times:

  • “Customization is very difficult in this tool. Generally, grid type of questions where you need to show multiple columns with a different look and feel is complex.” (Team Lead, Small Business)

  • Qualtrics can do so much, that oftentimes you just do not know what features to use or implement. You can also have an idea of what you'd like to accomplish and spend the time and effort to create it manually, only to discover Qualtrics had something out of the box you could use. More awareness and training around features would be great.” (Administrator in Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, Enterprise)

CustomerGauge Users Say…

Strengths

CustomerGauge users appreciate the platform’s reporting features and sophisticated CX management capabilities:

  • Great tool for NPS. I enjoy the ability to be able to mark an NPS score in someone else’s name and the ability to mark a case as closed so you can easily monitor where your efforts need to lie when following up during an NPS ask. Reporting was also very good via CustomerGauge, though it takes a while to set up…

It was a very powerful tool for quickly analyzing any themes and patterns found within the data collected from a client NPS ask.” (User in Information Technology and Services, Enterprise)

  • “Implementing CustomerGauge has allowed us to develop a sophisticated customer feedback program that is easy to manage and report on. The best part of our experience with CustomerGauge has been the ongoing support and collaboration they have provided for helping us to continually improve our program.

    Easy integration with our CRM and a variety of reporting tools within the platform have also allowed us to customize our process and get important data to the right people within our organization.” (Administrator in Industrial Automation)

Cautions

As proud as we are of the positive feedback for CustomerGauge, we know there’s always room to improve. That’s why CustomerGauge puts customer requests front and center when it comes to product development:

Cary S., Director of Training and Guest Services for an enterprise-level company said:

There is very little to almost nothing that we dislike. Every time we have a need or the product does not deliver a solution to one of our needs, the CustomerGauge team is quick to make our request important.”

And Hans Chr. G. said:

“I have a couple of important things on my wishlist. Happy to see some of these things now entering their backlog for product development.

The Pros and Cons of All 3 CX Survey Software

As we mentioned previously, Microsoft Forms is a simple, reliable surveying tool, while Qualtrics and CustomerGauge are full-fledged customer experience management solutions. However, there’s a little more to them than that.

Let’s take a look at each platform’s pros and cons to help you identify which solution is best for your needs.

Microsoft Forms

Pros

  • Free with Microsoft 365. If you’re a Microsoft 365 user, Microsoft Forms is a great surveying software that you won’t need to pay additionally for.

  • Easy to set up and use. Microsoft Forms is a cloud-based solution that requires almost no setup. The form builder is intuitive and easy to use.

  • Supports different question types, including multiple choice, text, rating, NPS, likert, and more. Microsoft Forms also lets you set start and end dates.

Cons

  • Very basic analytics. MS Forms only displays basic analytics like the number of responses, average time to complete, and a breakdown of respondents. It also displays these specifics for each question. But the software doesn’t offer more advanced CX analytics, like insights into customer sentiments.

  • Limited control. MS Forms doesn’t give you full control over who can fill your survey in, and the anonymous respondents option only restricts your control further.

  • Not suited for B2B and large-scale B2C needs. MS Forms lacks the features that help teams manage complex customer journeys and take action based on CX insights. Platforms like Qualtrics and CustomerGauge are better suited for complex CX needs.

Qualtrics

Pros

  • Suited for all business models. Qualtrics scored second in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities report for B2B, B2C, and B2B2C. Qualtrics enables teams to manage any CX initiative from simple feedback collection to implementing the best closed loop practices.

  • Strong partnership network. Qualtrics has a strong partnership network, especially with enterprise businesses. This makes Qualtrics one of the most experienced vendors in implementing multi-departmental CX programs.

  • Extensive customization features. Qualtrics lets you fully customize your surveys, including the survey design (question types, start and end dates, branches, etc.), user permissions, specific rules when users complete the survey, and more.

  • Primed for customer experience management. Qualtrics isn’t limited to just surveying capabilities. It has all the features you need to interpret and act on customer feedback, including sentiment analysis and deep analytics.

Cons

  • Cost. With plans starting at $1500, Qualtrics is typically too expensive for smaller businesses.

  • Interface. Qualtrics has a rich feature set and powerful capabilities, which is a great strength but also a potential drawback. If you just need to conduct simple surveys, the platform is overkill. Some users also feel the platform needs to introduce more training.

CustomerGauge

Pros

  • Tie CX to revenue. CustomerGauge helps businesses tie CX to revenue and focus on growing revenue through targeted upsells, cross-sells, and referral marketing. The CX vendor is recognized as the best for sales enablement by Gartner.

  • Manage complex B2B customer journeys. CustomerGauge is Gartner’s top pick for B2B and B2B2C businesses for a reason. The platform features omnichannel data collection and is designed to help manage complex B2B customer journeys.

  • Reduce churn. CustomerGauge helps you fight churn with a closed loop feedback process, by setting goals and alerts for closing the loop at the frontline, management, and executive levels. The platform also monitors for absence of signal, a key churn indicator, and helps reengage accounts that are likely to churn.

  • Improve NPS response rates. Typical CX platforms like Qualtrics have response rates of around 1-2%. CustomerGauge, however, has a portfolio of clients with 35% response rates.

Cons

  • Not suited for B2C use cases. CustomerGauge was designed with B2B and B2B2C needs in mind, so it’s not suited for B2C needs.

  • Commercially-orientated. Microsoft Forms and Qualtrics are good for academic research, but CustomerGauge is a commercially-focused platform and isn’t ideal for academic needs.

CustomerGauge is primed for B2B and B2B2C enterprise requirements. So, if you’re searching for a B2B CX solution to fight churn, grow account sizes, and improve customer experiences, look no further than CustomerGauge.

Book a demo to find out more!

About the Author

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Ben Goodey
Ben Goodey is a qualified B2B Account Experience expert. Having worked closely with leading companies on their customer service, experience, and insights programs, he's now leading the content team at CustomerGauge to help B2B organizations build ROI-generating NPS programs.
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