What is the RATER Model?

The RATER Model is a tool that helps professionals evaluate How Satisfied their Clients are.

 

Unlike other methods, it not only analyzes the Customer Service, but also the Product offered and the Customer Experience.

 

Its name is an acronym for the 5 Dimensions it focuses on:

  • Reliability.
  • Assurance.
  • Tangibles.
  • Empathy.
  • Responsiveness.

The Five Dimensions of the RATER Model

Reliability: This Dimension studies the Product and its Quality.

  • Does the Product meet expectations?

 

Assurance: This Dimension studies the Trust transmitted by the Company.

  • Do Customers Trust the Company and its employees?

 

Tangibles: This Dimension studies the Physical Perception.

  • Can Customers “see”, “touch” and “feel” what the Company offers?

 

Empathy: This Dimension studies whether Customers feel understood.

  • Does the Company understand what concerns its Clients?

 

Responsiveness: This Dimension studies whether Clients feel helped when they need it.

  • Do they feel that the Company helps them as much as it can?

RATER Model

 

Let’s see the first example:

RATER Model example

 

How has Amazon become the ultra-gigantic e-commerce Company that it is right now?

By taking care of Customer Satisfaction.

 

How?

Let’s develop a short RATER model of Amazon’s e-commerce service:

 

Reliability

We can all agree that Amazon offers, generally, a very reliable Service.

  • No matter where you live, you can be sure that you will receive your orders.

Remember: They sell “logistics”, not the physical product you buy.

 

Assurance

Amazon is a global company that is present in different sectors:

  • TV (Amazon Prime video), Cloud computing, etc.

People Trust Amazon.

 

Tangibles

As it is a technology company, Tangible evidence can be a bit more difficult to analyze.

However, here is what we think is the correct way to analyze it:

  • They have made it Easier and more Satisfying to buy on Amazon than in a physical store.

 

Empathy

For years, Amazon has been modifying numerous options on its website at the request of its users.

  • Also, they have improved their Services, reaching more regions over the years.

 

Responsiveness

If you have a problem with your order, you can easily return it.

  • In the past, once you received your order, you had to keep it even if someone scammed you.

 

Amazon has achieved what was previously unthinkable:

  • Be a real alternative (and sometimes better) to traditional shopping.

And they could do it by focusing on Customer Satisfaction.

Now comes the obvious question:

  • How do you measure Customer Satisfaction?

 

We are not going to lie to you: It is not an easy task.

 

However, here you have some Tips on How you can measure Customer Satisfaction based on our own experience:

How is Customer Satisfaction calculated?

Use social media.

  • Explore different Forums, Platforms, etc… And check what people say.

 

Study what people do.

  • Actions and Behavior are more honest than words. Always.

 

Ask your Clients if you can do anything else for them.

  • Their responses, although less reliable than their actions, will be revealing.

 

Use Objective Metrics to parameterize Customer behavior.

  • Time spent in store, average Claims per month, average spent money, etc.

 

By tracking those metrics, you will be able to estimate the Evolution of their Satisfaction.

  • If customer complaints, returned items … decrease, things are improving.

As always, we think that the best way to understand the RATER Model and how you can use it is by sharing some examples with you:

RATER Model examples

As usual, we have chosen 3 different examples of Businesses where Customer Satisfaction plays an important role.

  • And the RATER model can be helpful in understanding what is going on.

 

Let’s begin:

Thermomix - RATER Model example

 

The Thermomix is one of the best known and most expensive kitchen appliance in the world.

 

How could a $ 1,500 machine became so successful? (at least here, in Europe).

Because Customer Satisfaction is very high.

 

Let’s use the RATER Model to explain why:

 

Reliability

The Thermomix may be expensive, but it works wonderfully.

  • It lasts for years without giving any problems.

 

Assurance

It is a well-known product that, people who love cooking are very familiar with.

  • It’s reputation is unquestionable (again, at least here in Europe).

 

Tangibles

The Physical evidence is the product itself:

  • The packaging, all utensils included, the high quality of the materials used …

 

Empathy

Usually, when you are interested in a Theremomix, a specialist comes to your house and prepares some recipes with you.

  • Cooking together, in your kitchen, the recipes you are interested in transmits Empathy.

 

Responsiveness

If you have any little problem or doubt, the Company helps you immediately.

  • Sometimes they fix your problems for free, even if your machine is 5 years old.

 

* I personally own a Thermomix so, I say this based on my experience

  • (This is not sponsored, of course).

Banks - RATER Model example

 

In the past, people weren’t as mad at banks as they are today.

Why?

 

Because, for various reasons (Technology, Crisis, Low interest rates, etc) Banks cut off their relationship with their Clients.

 

Let’s see what happened by using the RATER Model:

 

Reliability

After the fall of Lehman Brothers and the 2008 crisis, people Stopped trusting their Bank.

  • For the first time, people were afraid of losing their savings (in some countries, this wasn’t new).

 

Assurance

The reputation of the entire banking system suffered greatly.

  • Lots of bad practices and abuses came to light.

 

Tangibles

Also, as banks closed many small offices, people in many villages no longer had anyone to talk to.

  • Everything started to being done on-line and many people didn’t even know how to do it.

 

Empathy

All these events did not transmit a lot of Empathy towards the Clients.

  • Some Bank CEOs made millions of dollars in bonuses and small customers lost everything.

 

Responsiveness

5 months after the mortgage crisis, Banks revalued many homes at half their prices.

  • And the message transmitted to clients was: This is how the Market works.

 

* Of course, things are not as easy as they seem here but, all this explains perfectly why people now distrust Banks more than ever.

Apple - RATER Model example

 

There was a time when Apple’s Customer Satisfaction was much higher than it is now.

 

Apple is a gigantic and successful company so, they must be doing something good, right?

  • Of course they do.

But, as they grew up, they couldn’t care that much about their Clients.

 

Let’s use the RATER Model to analyze what they are doing good and what they “sacrificed” to Grow:

 

Reliability

There is no doubt that their products are good, very good.

  • Some people may not like them but, their appearance and performance are excellent.

 

Assurance

Apple’s reputation is unquestionable.

  • It is one of the most admired Companies in the world.

 

Tangibles

The Physical Experience is excellent:

  • The Apple Store, the Packaging, the Design… Everything projects exclusivity.

 

Empathy

Launching a new, more expensive product every year doesn’t convey much empathy.

  • Now, Apple is trying to fix it with affordable versions.

 

Responsiveness

In the past, if you had a problem with certain components (especially laptops) Apple would sometimes fix it for free.

  • Now, that is unthinkable.

 

* As you can see, Apple improved in many different things, especially the Design and the Physical experience but, they couldn’t maintain the good Customer Service they had in the past.

  • They got so big, that it was no longer possible.

Summarizing

The RATER Model is a tool that helps professionals evaluate How Satisfied their Clients are.

 

Its name is an acronym for the 5 Dimensions it focuses on:

  • Reliability: The Product and its Quality.
  • Assurance: The Trust transmitted by the Company.
  • Tangibles: The Physical Perception.
  • Empathy: Whether Customers feel understood.
  • Responsiveness: Whether Clients feel helped when they need it.

 

Tips on How to measure Customer Satisfaction:

  • Use social media.
  • Study what people do.
  • Ask your Clients if you can do anything else for them.
  • Use Objective Metrics to parameterize Customer behavior.
  • Track those metrics to estimate the Evolution of their Satisfaction.

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