Managing Customer Expectations using the RATER model

Posted December 31st, 2012

One of the biggest challenges
that face people working with customers these days is the fact that customer
expectations consistently change direction, grow, shrink, change shape and
adapt to the environment. Their demands, needs and wants will decide how they
feel about your level of service and their satisfaction will be dictated by how
well you meet their current expectations.

This means that we need to be
able to adapt with the customer and makes the job of providing excellent
customer service an organic process that needs constant focus. The important
thing to remember is that the definition of good service is decided by the
customer, not you.


I’m sure you already have some
methods of ensuring you provide excellent customer service, but don’t let these
ideas become imbedded into a process that you rigidly stick to regardless of
the facts around you. It’s important to adapt and alter to meet the customer’s
expectations each and every time you deal with them and if something’s not
working…change it.


There are typically five main
areas customers are concerned about when we interact with them. These are…




  • Providing
    service as promised
  • Dependability
    in handling customers’ service problems
  • Performing
    services right the first time
  • Providing
    services at the promised time
  • Maintaining
    error-free processes


  • Give confidence
    to customers
  • Making
    customers feel safe in their transactions
  • Being
    consistently courteous
  • Having
    the knowledge to answer customer questions


  • Ensuring
    equipment works
  • Keeping
    facilities clean and tidy
  • Having
    a neat, professional appearance
  • Displaying
    or presenting the product/service in a visually appealing way


  • Giving
    customers individual attention
  • Dealing
    with customers in a caring fashion
  • Having
    the customer’s best interest at heart
  • Understand
    the needs of their customers
  • Convenient
    business hours


  • Keeping
    customers informed as to when services will be performed
  • Prompt
    service to customers
  • Willingness
    to help customers
  • Readiness
    to respond to customers’ requests

These are the typical basic
expectations that customers have and we need to consistently ensure we are
working to address issues under each of these headings. It’s not good enough to
be excellent in some areas, but not others. We need to ensure that we excel at
all things all the time. Customer service is a constant challenge and those who
work to ensure they meet this challenge will get the best results. The good
news is that most of these elements are not difficult to work on. However,
problems occur when we forget what is expected or lose sight of the customer’s
needs within our day to day responsibilities.

This article is a short excerpt from the Trainer Bubble training course materials on ‘Customer Excellence’, which can be purchased directly from our website at


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