The RATER model is a convenient method to measure customer expectations. It was created in 1990, and it can be use by companies to improve their individual services.
The model emphasizes 5 areas that customers generally care when they use services such as education, energy, telecommunications, banking, insurance, air travel, transport etc. The model focuses on the difference between customer experiences and customer expectations. RATER is an acronym of five factors: Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness.
Is the organization able to deliver the agreed upon services consistently, accurately and on time? This concerns the quality of the reliability and the way in which the customer can rely on it. If it turns out that a provider is not able to deliver Internet services without issues, the organization’s reliability will decline.
Are employees able to convincingly communicate their knowledge to the customers? Does the customer trust what the employees have to say and do they feel the employees can give them helpful advice? When the information about an interest tax deduction for an expensive mortgage turns out to be inaccurate, both the bank’s and its employee’s credibility will diminish rapidly. The customer might even go to a different bank for his mortgage.
Are the physical aspects of the service appealing? Think for instance of the office, website, equipment and employees looking reliable. If a customer is selecting a health insurance plan, but ends up on a website that looks unprofessional, that customer will probably opt for a different insurance company.
Are employees able to empathize well with the customers and give them individual attention? How is the relationship between employees and their customers? If a customer has a complaint about a considerable delay at an airline, he wants to feel heard by the employee. If there is not even a shred of empathy in the employee’s response, the customer will be disappointed and decide never to fly the airline in question again.
To what extent can the organization offer quick service and to what extent is the company willing to help customers? Quality service is paramount. If a commercial training institute does not pay enough attention to a customer who requested more information about a specific study program, chances are the customer will look for a different school. After all, the customer wants to start the program within a month. If it takes a month just to get a response, he is likely to have found another study program.