RATER Model In A Nutshell

The RATER model was created in 1988 by psychologists Valarie Zeithaml, Leonard L. Berry, and A. Parasuraman and introduced in their 1990 book Delivering Quality Service. The RATER model is a way for businesses to measure customer satisfaction.

Understanding the RATER model

The model comprises a five-point framework that clarifies how customers evaluate the service they receive and distinguishes between customer experience and expectation. 

Businesses can evaluate each of the five points to determine where they are excelling and where there is still room for improvement.

What’s more, the RATER model can serve as a common reference point for staff across the organization and clarify best practices.

We will take a detailed look at the five areas in the next section below. 

The five important areas of the RATER model


Reliable businesses are those that consistently deliver services and quickly resolve issues as they arise.

Here are two ways reliability can be embodied in practice:

  • Honest explanation of what the business can and cannot do for the customer. This transparency is the foundation of reliability and manages customer expectations.
  • Reliable businesses do not make promises they are not 100% sure they can keep. Customers may find it unpleasant to have a request denied, but over the long term, they will come to value and trust the company’s honesty.


Assurance is related to trust and a company’s ability to deliver what it says it will. How can trust be increased?

  • Understand the real needs of the customer and meet them at all times.
  • Build credibility with proven expertise in the product, service, or industry in question.
  • Maintain consistency standards. In other words, businesses must ensure that customers never hear different things from different people about them.


This dimension explores whether the business presents itself professionally across all customer touchpoints.

This includes physical and digital spaces and how customers respond to the environment the business creates. 

  • How do customers get in touch? What steps did they have to perform? What could have impacted their mood or expectations? Medical businesses may apologize to customers for a long wait time, for example.
  • When businesses deal with customers in person, an open, friendly, and interested demeanor is vital. These elements are key contributors to a customer’s impression of a business and are expected as a bare minimum.
  • Bricks-and-mortar retailers such as Whole Foods Market offer tangible service elements such as clean restrooms, aisles that are free from clutter, and relaxing cafés where shoppers can rest.


Empathy is one of the easiest RATER metrics to understand and revolves around whether customers feel the business cares about them.

To show empathy, businesses can:

  • Talk less, listen more, and ask effective questions to increase understanding. 
  • Avoid platitudes such as “We apologise for the inconvenience”, and
  • Look out for and acknowledge customer emotions. To make the customer feel heard, it is also useful to reference their specific problem in correspondence and describe how it will be addressed.


Responsiveness describes how quickly and effectively the business can respond to customers in channels they prefer to communicate in. Responsive businesses:

  • Acknowledge the receipt of complaints or inquiries immediately or as quickly as practicable. 
  • Do not wait until they have the full solution in hand before making additional contact with a customer.
  • Provide realistic deadlines or timetables.
  • Manage multiple channels to handle customer service communications, and
  • Are perceived by customers as willing helpers.

Key takeaways:

  • The RATER model is a way for businesses to measure customer satisfaction.
  • The RATER model is a five-point framework that clarifies how customers evaluate the service they receive. It also makes a point to differentiate between customer experience and customer expectation.
  • The five areas of the RATER framework include reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy, and responsiveness. 

Main Free Guides:

Types Of Leadership

Agile Leadership

Agile leadership is the embodiment of agile manifesto principles by a manager or management team. Agile leadership impacts two important levels of a business. The structural level defines the roles, responsibilities, and key performance indicators. The behavioral level describes the actions leaders exhibit to others based on agile principles. 

Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive leadership is a model used by leaders to help individuals adapt to complex or rapidly changing environments. Adaptive leadership is defined by three core components (precious or expendable, experimentation and smart risks, disciplined assessment). Growth occurs when an organization discards ineffective ways of operating. Then, active leaders implement new initiatives and monitor their impact.

Delegative Leadership

Developed by business consultants Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey in the 1960s, delegative leadership is a leadership style where authority figures empower subordinates to exercise autonomy. For this reason, it is also called laissez-faire leadership. In some cases, this type of leadership can lead to increases in work quality and decision-making. In a few other cases, this type of leadership needs to be balanced out to prevent a lack of direction and cohesiveness of the team.

Distributed Leadership

Distributed leadership is based on the premise that leadership responsibilities and accountability are shared by those with the relevant skills or expertise so that the shared responsibility and accountability of multiple individuals within a workplace, bulds up as a fluid and emergent property (not controlled or held by one individual). Distributed leadership is based on eight hallmarks, or principles: shared responsibility, shared power, synergy, leadership capacity, organizational learning, equitable and ethical climate, democratic and investigative culture, and macro-community engagement.


Micromanagement is about tightly controlling or observing employees’ work. Although in some cases, this management style might be understood, especially for small-scale projects, generally speaking, micromanagement has a negative connotation mainly because it shows a lack of trust and freedom in the workplace, which leads to adverse outcomes.
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