The RATER Model, Assessing Your Healthcare Marketing Channels

A new use of an old tool, assessing your healthcare marketing channels

By Geoffrey Cooling

I use the RATER model quite a lot when I am assisting with the business development of my customer healthcare Practices. I think that it is a fantastic, if slightly complex tool. During a recent review of my notes, it suddenly occurred to me that the tool was an ideal assessment tool for healthcare marketing channels.

I first discussed the RATER Tool in Manage Your Practice quite a while ago. In brief  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.

By focusing on these five areas, you can analyse and improve your service levels across your Practice.

The elements of the RATER model have been established as elements that your prospective Patients are looking for or are interested in. With this in mind why do we not bring the assessment tool to bear on your healthcare marketing and healthcare marketing channels? By that I mean assess each and every marketing element against those principles.

You can use the following questions as a starting point for thinking about each area:


Does your healthcare marketing elements and channels engender a perception of reliability?


Does your healthcare marketing elements and channels engender trust?


Does your healthcare marketing elements and channels display tangibles?


Does your healthcare marketing elements and channels display empathy?


Does your healthcare marketing elements and channels display responsiveness?

When you identify if you are failing in any of these elements you can lay out a clear strategy to get to where you need to be. In a future post I would like to further identify the principles and how they apply to healthcare marketing elements. I would also like to try and suggest elements that can help you deploy those principles across your healthcare marketing. What do you think?



About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland.

After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites.

I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology.

I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating.

I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one.

I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients.

I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.


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