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

Geoffrey Cooling is an Irish hearing care blogger and the author of The Little Book of Hearing Aids and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World. He has been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession since 2007 when he qualified as a hearing aid audiologist. He has worked in private practice and for a major hearing aid manufacturer. He has become recognised as an authority within the field of hearing care and hearing aids.


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