Consumer Marketing – The RATER Model

Geoffrey-CoolingGuest blogger, Geoff Cooling, describes how practice owners can assess their marketing elements using the RATER model.

The RATER Model is an excellent tool that can be applied to many sectors, but is quite satisfactory for use in Healthcare to assess exactly where your Practice is. The RATER Model was created by professors Valarie Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman, and Leonard Berry, and published in their 1990 book, “Delivering Quality Service.” The book itself is an excellent read for any Practice owner who really wants assistance in positioning their Practice for Patient Retention.

The model highlights five areas that customers/patients generally consider to be important when they use a service. These are:

  • Reliability – your ability to provide the service you have promised consistently, accurately, and on time.
  • Assurance – the knowledge, skills, and credibility of staff; and their ability to use this expertise to inspire trust and confidence.
  • Tangibles – the physical evidence of the service you provide. This could be offices, equipment, employees, and the communication and marketing materials that you use including any online channels.
  • Empathy – the relationship between employees and customers.
  • Responsiveness – your ability to provide a quick, high quality service to your customers.

Today, I dig deeper into “Reliability”, the first principle in the RATER model.


  • How well do you provide the service that you’ve promised to your Patients, efficacy of instruments, follow ups, repairs?
  • Are your systems and processes clearly identified, written, robust and reliable?
  • Is service delivery consistent and timely, across all service channels (including any online channels), sale to fit times, aftercare times, response to a service request?

Looking at the preceding, how are we to answer these questions, how are we to engender the perception of reliability in our healthcare marketing? In essence, we can introduce copy or content into our online healthcare marketing channels that answers these questions. In other words, as part of our content we can address these elements.
We can really leverage a “Service Promise” on our website, it can be a major component of a landing page, it can be a media element on our homepage. It should most definitely be a page element of our site. But is that enough? Just because we say it, should they believe it? Would you?

So just a service promise, even if heavily leveraged and driven may not be enough. What else can we do to drive that perception, to qualify those service promise elements?  Social proof. In this case a testimonial directly pertaining to your service.

I have been considering social proof much of late, particularly video testimonials. I think that it would be ideal to tailor each video testimonial to the page content it appears on. In the case of our service promise element, you can deploy a video testimonial from an existing Patient that discusses their happiness with your service, prompt response and aftercare.

In this way, you could deploy a testimonial on every page that referenced the content promise. This would add an element of social proof to every content element that really mattered.

Back to R, do your online healthcare marketing channels engender the perception of reliability? Do you think leveraging a service promise and social proof will help you to engender that perception?

Read more about the RATER Model on Geoff’s blog, Just Audiology Stuff.

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  1. Pingback: R Is For Reliability, Engendered In Your Healthcare Marketing Geoffrey Cooling

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