The RATER model is a service quality framework. It was created by professors Valarie Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman, and Leonard Berry, who introduced the framework in their 1990 book Delivering Quality Service. The model highlights five areas that customers generally consider important when they use a service, and focuses on differentiating between customer experience and expectation.
Delivering Quality Service
A book by Valarie Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman, and Leonard Berry
Five Areas of RATER
- Reliability: did the company provide the promised service consistently, accurately, and on a timely basis?
- Assurance: do the knowledge, skills, and credibility of the employees inspire trust and confidence?
- Tangibles: are the physical aspects of the service (offices, equipment, or employees) appealing?
- Empathy: is there a good relationship between employees and customers?
- Responsiveness: does the company provide fast, high-quality service to customers?
By measuring the quality ratings for these five areas, a business can improve areas that are lagging. RATER uses a multidimensional approach to pinpoint service shortcomings, which helps a business understand why they are happening and how to correct them.
Gap Analysis can be applied to each of the five RATER areas. Gap Analysis is a tool that helps companies compare actual performance with potential performance. The five gaps that organizations should measure, manage, and minimize are:
- Gap 1: The management perception gap, or the difference between the service customers expect and management's perception of customer expectations. If management thinks customers expect one level of service when they really expect another, this indicates that management does not fully understand the market.
- Gap 2: The quality specification gap. This is the difference between management perception and the company's actual specification of customer experience.
- Gap 3: The service delivery gap. This is the difference between customer-driven service design and standards and service delivery.
- Gap 4: The market communication gap. This is the gap between the experience that customers are promised and the experience they actually have.
- Gap 5: The perceived service quality gap. This is the gap between a customer's expectation of a service and their perception of the service they received.