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 embedded 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


Subscribe to the Trainer Bubble mailing list to receive updates on new products, special offers and all the latest industry news sent right to your inbox.