Video Surveys vs. Virtual Surveys: What’s the Difference?

More than ever, moving professionals need survey technology that improves customer experiences, lowers costs, and boosts productivity. But confusion about two different types of survey technology – video surveys and virtual surveys – makes it difficult for moving pros to know what technology will help them hit those goals. 

Simply put, video and virtual surveys are different. And each tool provides different advantages and disadvantages. Here’s how video and virtual moving surveys differ, how each works, and how moving companies can choose the right type of survey technology to surpass their goals. 

The Pros and Cons of Video Surveys

What is a Video Survey?

A video survey uses existing video conferencing platforms to perform a remote moving survey. Examples of video survey platforms include:

  • Zoom 
  • FaceTime
  • Facebook Messenger video
  • Google Meet 

With general video moving surveys, surveyors must tally items and fill out inventory sheets just as they would if they were physically walking through the shipper’s home. They just replace an in-house walkthrough with a video call. That means surveyors still need to fill out cube sheets and calculate weights or volumes for items by hand. 

Pros of Moving Video Surveys 

Here are some benefits to using video surveys for movers:

  • Video surveys allow moving companies to virtually walk through a shipper’s space without physically traveling to the site.
  • Unlike phone or in-person surveys, video surveys let the surveyor see the inventory they’re working with from anywhere. 

Cons of Video Surveys For Moving Companies

However, there are also disadvantages to video surveys:

  • Surveyors still need to line up their schedules with customers’ and complete surveys during normal business hours. 
  • Moving companies may need to purchase additional software to complete surveys, such as moving inventory software or moving estimate software. 
  • Specialists still need to calculate and type up inventory sheets – which burns up sales resources and eats into a customer’s day. 
  • Surveyors have to stress about doing two things at the same time, cataloging accurately while building customer rapport, usually looking at two different screens for each.

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Surveys

What is a Virtual Survey?

Like video surveys, virtual surveys relay live video to surveyors, but they also include moving survey software. With AI-powered virtual surveys, shippers shoot a video of their moving space and the software scans the room. The AI automatically recognizes items, catalogs inventory, calculates weights and volumes, and builds a visual inventory sheet – with labeled pictures – that customers can review. 

There are a few different types of virtual surveys moving professionals can choose, depending on their company’s needs:

AI-Powered Virtual Self-Surveys

With AI-powered self-surveys, a customer can complete their own virtual survey on their own– at any time of the day or night. Here’s how Yembo’s Self-Survey works:

  1. Click the link: The shipper clicks the Yembo Self-Survey link. They can easily find the link on the moving company’s (Yembo-provided) landing page at any time, 24/7. Or a moving professional can send it to them directly.
  2. Open the self-survey: Customers don’t need to download software or visit an app store.
  3. Scan moving items: The shipper records 10-15 second videos of each of their rooms – noting any important instructions. AI will create a visual inventory of the items in the room and tally quantities, estimated weights, and add up volumes.
  4. Customers send in their survey: AI will immediately analyze the moving survey, and shippers can send it to the moving company for approval–or moving pros can send an estimate right away. 
  5. Moving companies keep business rolling at all hours: Potential customers can access, complete, and approve surveys at any time, 24/7. That means when movers sign in the next morning, they have leads tee’d up in their inboxes and ready to get started. 

Smart Consult: A Hybrid Moving Survey App

If moving professionals want to direct shippers through the moving survey process, they can also choose hybrid virtual surveys.With hybrid moving surveys, such as Yembo Smart Consult, moving companies send a one-click link to customers. From there, the company’s sales team can connect with customers, guide them through a typical pre-move walkthrough, and use AI to increase efficiency. Here’s how it works:

  1. The salesperson sends customers a one-click link to join the survey.
  2. The company’s surveyor guides customers through an on-screen walkthrough.
  3. The customer records images of their home and belongings.
  4. AI automatically creates an inventory list that surveyors can adjust.
  5. The technology calculates an estimate and uploads a record for sales teams.
  6. Customers can review the estimate and book a job with a sales person without leaving the platform.

Pros of Virtual Surveys For Movers

Virtual surveys have several benefits:

  • Complete more surveys. On average, AI virtual surveys take 15-20 minutes to complete – half as long as general video surveys.
  • Save money. Since AI automatically analyzes items and generates survey details, moving companies need less specialized labor. That saves the company money. On an annual basis, AI virtual surveys are nearly $400,000 less expensive than video surveys. 
  • Upgrade customer experiences. Since customers can conduct virtual surveys any time, they don’t have to interrupt their day, and moving companies don’t waste time scheduling video meet-ups. 
  • Increase productivity. Moving companies can turn around estimates within an hour of the customer’s initial request, so companies save money and can reach more customers in a day. 
  • Simplify the moving experience. Customers don’t need to download extra software or learn complicated programs. They can access virtual surveys via a link on any smart device. 

Cons of Virtual Surveys For Moving Companies

There are some drawbacks to virtual surveys:

  • Virtual survey apps and software are enabled via a subscription payment service model.
  • Moving companies need to encourage their team and leaders to embrace new technology that enables them to do business in a new way.

Video vs Virtual Surveys: The Best Choice Hinges on a Moving Company’s Needs

Video and virtual surveys provide different pros and cons. However, virtual surveys can deliver higher long-term value for most moving companies. Virtual moving technologies are designed to speed up the sales process and improve the customer’s experience. While they require a subscription, virtual surveys pay for themselves by saving time, increasing revenue, and eliminating other software costs. 

Check out how TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Dallas improved their internal team’s and  customer experience with virtual surveys