A thorough pre-move survey and inventory of a customer’s household goods has long been a crucial differentiator between a high-quality professional mover and a rogue operator. This critical first step in a successful relocation provides a basis for pricing, establishes a relationship with the customer, sets expectations for the move process, and if done correctly, closes the sale.
Moving surveys are traditionally conducted during business hours in the customer’s home. However, scheduling struggles and lengthy drive times create significant lag and barriers to a moving quote. The result is an expensive and time-consuming sales process.
Pre-move surveys are meant to set the table for a quality customer experience. In the age of instant gratification, they can now be a deterrent to sale. Inexperienced customers may opt for an inaccurate price quoted instantly online. Customers don’t have the patience to wait days or longer for the price provided by a professional moving surveyor, which empowers rogue movers to trap customers with lowball estimates based on nothing. This not only takes customers from ProMovers, but creates distrust between consumers and the moving industry as a whole.
Recognizing these obstacles, cutting-edge moving companies began adopting moving survey software and apps that allow their sales teams to conduct virtual surveys. The need for pre-move virtual surveys was accelerated in 2020 by the pandemic and social distancing measures. Moving companies that were previously reluctant to adopt pre-move survey technology suddenly needed to get eyes on a customer’s inventory when they were unable to physically visit the home.
Moving beyond the 2020 lockdowns, moving companies are continuing to invest in virtual pre-move survey apps, software, and technology. Industry leaders recognize the significant benefits to their bottom line and customer experience.
What are the types of moving virtual surveys?
Virtual surveys can be categorized into two primary categories:
Live Virtual Survey
A moving sales representative will use video conferencing or software to conduct a real-time, face-to-face survey with the customer. This method is similar to the traditional survey, except the representative is seeing the customer, home, and inventory remotely through a screen instead of physically in-person. A live virtual survey can be conducted using FaceTime, Zoom, video moving survey software or apps, or more sophisticated technology like Yembo Smart Consult.
Self-Guided Virtual Survey
In this second type of virtual survey, the customer conducts the survey independently by recording videos of their home and belongings using a mobile device. These virtual surveys are enabled by a video moving survey app, or an AI-powered solution such as Yembo Self-Survey.
How are virtual pre-move surveys better than in-home surveys?
Virtual surveys are becoming the standard for the pre-move inspection. Movers without a virtual solution will soon be left behind. Here’s why the moving industry now prefers pre-move virtual surveys.
Faster Inspections & Quote Turnaround
In-home surveys require about 1-3 hours to complete. The majority of that time is wasted behind a steering wheel as sales representatives drive between customers’ homes. Once the representative meets the customer, their focus is on tallying an inventory, not the shipper’s needs. Virtual surveys completely eliminate drive time, freeing hours for moving representatives to quote more customers. AI-powered surveys automatically create inventories, further expediting survey time. These time savings allow sales representatives to quote 3-5x more customers and send quotes within an hour of first contact by the customer.
Productive sales representatives are valuable, and therefore a big expense on a moving company’s payroll. If virtual surveys allow surveyors to be 3-5x more efficient, moving companies can generate a larger volume of business without the cost of expanding the sales team. Eliminating drive time also removes fuel costs and car stipends from the bottom line.
Sales Can Survey From Anywhere
Previously, movers needed to group surveys by geographical proximity to reduce drive time, limiting which surveys they could service. Virtual surveys allow sales representatives to work in multiple markets on the same day. When moving companies are able to prioritize a sales schedule by move value, referral source, or time sensitivity instead of location, they are also able to prioritize revenue. Since virtual surveys can be conducted from anywhere with an Internet connection, sales representatives also benefit from the flexibility to work from the office, home, or anywhere.
Convenience For the Customer
Requiring a potential customer to leave work to meet a moving sales representative during business hours is a hassle during a process that’s meant to sell convenience. Some virtual survey softwares allow customers to conduct the survey themselves at a time that is best for them, 24/7/365. Yembo uses AI to guide the customer through a more intuitive process. Yembo also doesn’t require the customer to install an app or software, allowing quick start with just a click.
Position Your Company As Leading & Cutting-Edge
Customers use the pre-move survey to evaluate multiple moving companies, not just on price, but on service and experience. Moving companies can use virtual surveys to stand out from the competition. Potential customers are impressed when a mover utilizes technology to present a streamlined front-end process. It is immediately clear that the company is professional, cutting-edge, and invests in communication and efficiency. Solutions like Yembo are branded to the mover, making the virtual survey extra sleek.
Accurate documentation is the basis for resolving claims and quote under-estimation discrepancies. Movers rely on the pre-move inventory as the record for the scope of work, and video recordings are time-stamped and indisputable. As virtual surveys also keep a visual record, they can also be used to verify an item’s pre-transportation condition in the event of a damage claim. Yembo’s AI takes documentation a step further by creating visual inventories from the video. AI-powered surveys also increase the accuracy of the cube sheet, as it reduces the human error of missing an item on the inventory.
Higher Closing Rate
Overall, the benefits of virtual surveys add up to what matters most: a higher closing ratio and improved customer experience. The speed of virtual surveys allow movers to be the first quote in the door, which increases the likelihood that your moving company will be the customer’s first choice.
How do the benefits compare for moving survey software or apps?
While all virtual moving surveys have advantages over in-home surveys, not all moving survey software solutions are created equal.
Is your moving company considering implementing virtual survey software? You can try Yembo risk-free for 45 days. Get started with your free trial today.