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

More movers than ever are providing video or virtual surveys for their customers. Moving companies are adopting video surveys or virtual survey apps. The terms “video” and “virtual” surveys are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. There are key differences and benefits between these remote moving survey software options.

While in-home visits have long been the standard for quality moving company surveys, movers have always utilized some form of remote survey. Moving surveyors who are unable to get eyes on a shipment have historically asked the customer to describe their inventory over the phone. Phone surveys leave room for error, as the customer is not a moving expert and may forget critical details.

When the pandemic put a pause on in-home surveys, movers required more robust remote survey solutions than a phone call. Video surveys and virtual surveys were already on the rise, but 2020 accelerated the need for movers to adopt one of these solutions. We will explain the difference, pros, and cons of these technologies to help you determine the best moving survey software or moving survey app for your customers.

The Pros and Cons of Video Surveys

What is a Video Survey?

A video survey utilizes existing video conferencing platforms to perform a remote survey for your business. Examples of video survey platforms include Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video, and Google Meet. Video surveys are performed live, and are similar to a phone survey, except with visuals.

The Process of Performing a Moving Video Survey

To perform a video survey, a staff member schedules a survey time. The company asks the customer to select a video survey platform in advance, as which technology the customer already utilizes will vary. The surveyor and customer will meet on the video conference link at the appointed time, and the surveyor will direct the customer to walk through the home. Simultaneously, he or she will record the inventory on a separate moving survey software or cube sheet. At the conclusion of the video survey, the salesperson will calculate the moving estimate from the results and email it to the customer.

Pros of Moving Video Surveys 

There are benefits to using video surveys for movers:

  • The mover is not required to invest into new moving video survey software, as this method utilizes freeware or already purchased video conferencing software.
  • The customer is likely already familiar with the survey technology, because it’s the same software they use for personal or work communication.
  • The live, face-to-face connection between the salesperson and customer allows for better selling and relationship building.
  • Video surveys are an improvement from phone and in-person surveys, because the surveyor can get a visual on the inventory from anywhere.

Cons of Video Surveys For Moving Companies

However, there are also disadvantages to video surveys:

  • The survey can only occur during business hours when both the customer and surveyor are available and the customer is in the home.
  • The company must manually build pre, during, and post survey processes to ensure the customer and surveyor both do their part to make the survey a success and convert the sale. Even still, the process will be inconsistent across the multiple platforms and surveyors.
  • The use of freeware is a less professional experience for the customer.
  • The company must purchase additional moving inventory software and moving estimate software.
  • Video surveys require daily hours of expensive sales resources and are time consuming for the customer.
  • The juggling of platforms and level of manual input from the salesperson leads to human error.


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The Pros and Cons of Virtual Surveys

What is a virtual survey?

Virtual surveys utilize moving survey software or a virtual survey app specifically designed for your industry. This technology has customized features that standard video conferencing platforms do not. For example, Yembo AI surveys do not just provide video conferencing. This AI-powered software automatically identifies and inventories the items on the screen, provides an optimized workflow, records the survey video, and generates digital inventory documents.

The Process of Performing a Moving Virtual Survey

The virtual survey process is completely automated. The moment a customer requests a quote online, a website integration provides survey options. The customer can choose to self-perform the survey immediately or at a time that’s convenient. An automated email or text with a link and instructions to perform the survey is sent to the customer, and they are guided by the AI to perform the walkthrough of their inventory and home. The virtual survey software records the videos, and advanced AI creates a digital inventory list from the video footage.

The moment the survey is over, the results are sent to the salesperson to generate a quote. Virtual survey software can also produce part of the estimate, and includes the pricing and tariff platform and documents. The salesperson then sends the customer the estimate via the virtual survey app, where the customer can book and sign for the move online.

Pros of Virtual Surveys For Movers

Virtual surveys have many benefits:

  • The workflow is automatic, consistent, professional, and optimized to guide your customer, save your team time, and convert the sale.
  • The video record, inventory, and visuals of the item conditions are stored on the platform.
  • The virtual survey app is built to be integrated into your website and existing sales process.
  • Virtual surveys can be performed by the customer immediately, or at any time that is convenient for them, 24/7/365.
  • It requires less sales resources to produce an estimate and eliminates hours of survey and drive time for your team every day.
  • Artificial intelligence increases the accuracy of the inventory.
  • Duplicate costs for inventory, estimate, tariff, CRM, e-sign, and moving software are eliminated.
  • The experience is more professional and more advanced than FaceTime or Zoom.
  • Estimates can be turned around within the hour of the customer’s initial first request.
  • No app download is required for customers - everything can be done via the web on any smart device.

Cons of Virtual Surveys For Moving Companies

There are some drawbacks to virtual surveys:

  • Virtual survey apps and software require a financial investment from your moving company.
  • Onboarding to new technology requires training and buy-in from your sales team.
  • There is a possible small learning curve for customers not used to technology.
  • Self-surveys can miss the personal interaction during the survey for your sales team to make a connection or upsell. However, Smart Consult is a guided virtual survey solution that remedies this drawback.

Smart Consult: A Hybrid Moving Survey App

There is a virtual survey solution that combines the features, professionalism, and workflow of self-surveys with the personal connection of a live video survey. Yembo Smart Consult is video survey technology with an automated process designed for the moving industry, and the assist of AI-powered inventories. Here’s how it works:

The Process of Performing a Yembo Smart Consult Video Survey

At the time of the survey, the salesperson sends the customer a one-click link to join the survey. The customer and surveyor will be able to speak face-to-face, and the surveyor will guide the customer through the video walkthrough. As the camera shows the home and belongings, the AI will automatically create the inventory, which the surveyor can adjust live. The results are immediately available to the salesperson at the conclusion of the walkthrough, and it just takes minutes to price and send the estimate. The customer can then review and book the estimate right in the platform.

Which is better, video or virtual surveys?

While there are pros and cons to video surveys and virtual surveys, virtual surveys are a far more robust solution. Virtual moving technologies are specifically designed to optimize the sales process and convert the customer. While they require some investment, virtual surveys pay for themselves by saving time, increasing revenue, and eliminating other software costs. Even if your company prefers the involvement of a salesperson that a video survey offers, the experience can be advanced by a hybrid virtual survey option like Yembo Smart Consult.

However, the investment into virtual surveys is only worthwhile with consistent volume. If your company is still performing the vast majority of your surveys in-home, or are just starting to experiment with remote surveys, your company may want to try video surveys before making an investment. However, if video surveys are a consistent part of your company’s survey options, it is likely time to purchase a virtual survey app or software.

Check out our ROI whitepaper if you are deciding whether to invest in virtual survey software.

If you’re intrigued by the benefits of virtual surveys for moving, request a demo for Yembo.