What Is Customer Retention Rate? [Formula and Calculation]

Customer retention

Customer retention metrics are critical for every business that wants to flourish.

This section will explore the origin of the customer retention rate and how one can use it in marketing.

What Is Customer Retention Rate?

Customer retention is the percentage of customers who stay with a company for an extended time. This is also inversely known as churn rate, and it is an essential metric for almost all B2B and B2C firms. 

The smaller the churn, the more loyal the customers and the more profitable the business because the business maintains more consumers over time. 

In other words, customer retention rate refers to the number of clients a business keeps over time. You can calculate it as the percentage of a company’s existing consumers that stay loyal over a given period. (We’ll go through the formula in more detail later.) 

For example, if your company starts the year with ten customers and loses two, your retention rate is 80 percent. 

Company growth may take off once you’ve built a killer product and identified your target market. And it is critical to devote just as many resources to retaining existing consumers as to gaining new customers.

And that’s what your customer success team is for: to assist consumers in realizing the value in your product or service and achieving their objectives.

Customer retention/churn is an important KPI for many firms since a company’s ability to keep existing customers is critical to both short- and long-term profitability.

The following are some of the most important reasons:

  • Retaining existing clients is frequently less expensive than acquiring new ones.
  • Acquisition costs for sales and marketing typically outweigh expenditures for customer support and ongoing customer satisfaction.
  • Loyal customers are more likely to return, indicating that they are valuable.
  • Increasing customer retention increases the likelihood of a consumer becoming a loyal, repeat customer, resulting in a significant rise in earnings.
  • Upselling or cross-selling to customers is more effective for businesses because they already have a connection based on trust and product satisfaction.
  • Referrals from satisfied consumers can lead to the acquisition of new clients.

Customer retention should be a key measure and a top priority for practically every company. So, before we examine alternative ways to improve it, let’s look at how we can measure it.

Product managers often use customer retention rates to measure how well a company satisfies its customers. The higher this ratio, the more likely that the company will be able to retain its business. 

Customer retention rates are essential for every business. Still, they are even more vital for companies that rely on repeat purchases or subscriptions for their revenue.

It is also important to note who manages customer retention. The customer success team is usually in charge of customer retention. This team’s job is to work with and delight your consumers throughout their entire engagement with your business. 

Most SaaS companies create customer success teams because they want someone to be in charge of that figure. Customer success teams should collaborate not just with customers to increase and sustain retention rates but also with other departments inside your company.

As a result, your entire company will work together to improve client retention continually.

Customer Retention Rate Formula

We can calculate customer retention rates in a variety of ways. It depends on the period you’re looking at, but many marketers employ far too many factors.

To determine your retention rate, compare the number of clients remaining at the end of the period to the number at the start.

We don’t care how many new clients came in while calculating the retention rate. We only consider this figure when calculating the total number of clients at the end of the month. 

Now, divide this difference by the number of customers at the start of the month. Finally, we multiply by 100 to get the % retention rate.

We commonly use the following formula to calculate:

The customer retention formula is simple, but it is effective. It measures how well you cultivate consumer relationships and lure them back for further purchases.

You’ll need to work on some math, but it won’t be difficult if you have a calculator.

So, here’s a formula that includes the clients you have at the beginning (S), the end (E), and customers acquired during the measurement period (N).

CRR = (E-N)/S) x 100 is the formula.

How to Calculate Customer Retention Rate Formula?

Begin by subtracting the overall customer base after the specified period from the number of customers obtained throughout the specified period.

Divide that digit by the number of consumers you had at the beginning of the time and multiply by 100.

Let’s understand this with an example: 

At the start of a three-month calculation period, you have 50,000 consumers. You gain 1,000 customers in those three months, and by the conclusion of the period, you have 40,000 consumers.

To eliminate customers acquired during the testing period, we’ll deduct 1,000 from 50,000. That gives us a total of 49,000 people. We now divide 40,000 by 49,000 to arrive at 0.081. 

After multiplying that amount by 100, we get an 81 percent client retention rate.

What To Do if Your Customer Retention Rate Has Decreased?

It’s imperative to have a high customer retention rate because it means you’ll be more efficient and profitable. 

According to research by Bain & Company, a 5% improvement in client retention can result in a 25% to 95% increase in profitability.

Here are some strategies that a company can use to improve its customer retention rate. 

Excellent values establish positive relationships.

You care about your company’s values. Your business operations, product delivery, and customer relationships should reflect your company values. 

These aspects should make your principles clear to your customers, but it’s never a bad idea to remind them now and then. Make your customers aware of your values and sew them onto your brand.

 It’s easier to keep customers when you have common ideals with them.

In the first place, be sure they’re a good fit.

Many businesses use cold calling to blitz their target markets to engage with as many potential clients as possible, regardless of fit.

Innovative companies understand that focusing on clients who fit their ideal customer profile and have the potential to become long-term partners is a superior strategy. 

Using an account-based strategy to research and understand the clients you’re selling to and make sure they align with your offering makes sense.

Build customer expectations and always go above and beyond.

Customers believe that companies should understand their expectations in 76% of cases. It’s no longer enough to have reasonable prices or excellent quality. 

Consumers today have greater expectations because they have more options and can go elsewhere if you don’t match their wants.

Set clear expectations.

If your client retention rate isn’t where you want it to be, look at the relationship expectations. 

It’s easy for a consumer to feel disengaged and unenthusiastic about your product if there’s a discrepancy between what they think they should receive and what you think you should deliver.

Good relationships are built on trust.

The first step in building client trust is to create an easily relatable brand. Having something in common promotes confidence, which is essential for establishing a solid relationship and, as a result, a successful business. 

You don’t have to persuade clients to buy your product if they trust you. Utilize your customer data to learn more about your clients’ wants and deliver an excellent experience.

Emphasis on experience.

If you don’t have a high-quality, easy-to-use product, even the best sales staff will not bring in enough clients to keep your business expanding.

Be aware of potential problems, search for methods to improve, and make sure you sell something that people desire.

Analyze, question, and survey throughout the sales process.

Clients are accustomed to you answering all their questions, testing their responses, and hanging on to their every word. 

Regular surveys and interviews can assist you in ensuring that expectations are satisfied. 

Furthermore, rather than waiting until your consumer is disengaged and ready to go on before attempting to resolve issues, adopting these data-gathering techniques can help you get ahead of problems.

Always remember, it’s never too late to make changes.

Strive to provide excellent customer service at all times. Customers like amazing deals and discounts, but they appreciate it much more when you help them address their problems. 

This involves ensuring that all staff understands the primary goal of quickly resolving customer complaints

Invest the time and money to improve your customer service experience. Remember that effective customer service includes interaction. 

Keep your customers informed.

You should regularly educate customers about your products and services by offering up-to-date information.

This should include discussing product milestones with your consumers to be aware of your commitment to continual improvement.

Use numerous channels to communicate frequently, such as webchats, social media, and text messaging. Personalize your content to appeal to different customer groups.

Reward Loyalty.

Well-intentioned gestures can go a long way. Look at things that will make your clients feel good about using your product in addition to loyalty rewards, discounts and offers. 

A thank you card or any other positive appreciation can encourage your consumers to return. 

Customers will respond well if you treat them well. Nothing beats outstanding customer service.

Customer Retention Rate KPI:

Product key performance indicators (KPIs) are measures that assess the effectiveness of your product. 

They assist you in determining whether the product is reaching its commercial objectives and whether the product strategy is effective. 

Without KPIs, you’ll have to make educated guesses about how well your product functions.

Customer Retention Rate is an essential KPI for subscription-based organizations (if not the most important, next to New Sales KPIs) because it affects the following:

  1. Recurring revenue
  2. Customer satisfaction levels (which affects account expansions and referrals) 
  3. Business growth.

What Is a Good Customer Retention Rate?

If it were a perfect world, there would be zero attrition in a corporation. While this is unachievable, you should aim for the highest possible retention rate. 

Low retention is a warning indication for any company, indicating a lack of client satisfaction. An excellent retention rate is as close to 100 percent as it can get.

Customer Retention Rate vs. Churn Rate

We have already noted what a customer retention rate is. Now let’s touch upon what is a churn rate?

The rate at which consumers leave doing business with a company is the churn rate, also called the rate of attrition or customer churn.

It’s usually the percentage of service subscribers who cancel their memberships within a specific time frame.

 It’s also how people quit their jobs after a particular amount of time has passed. To develop its customer base, a company’s growth rate (measured by the number of new customers) must outpace its attrition rate.

The following is the formula for calculating it:

(Churned customers / Original number of customers) x 100 = Customer churn rate

The customer churn rate is the percentage of customers who join up and then leave within a set period. On the other hand, the customer retention rate is the percentage of customers who join up and stick with you. 

A high churn rate suggests you lose clients, whereas a low churn rate means retaining customers.

We can say that the fraction of consumers who return to conduct business with your organization is known as the retention rate. 

This is different from the churn rate, which relates to how many clients you’ve lost. By default, a company with a high churn rate will have a lower retention rate.


Companies with a high customer retention rate would see a low percentage of their total income go to acquisition costs. 

Conversely, a company with a low customer retention rate would divert a vast portion of its total income towards new customer acquisition.

If you have trouble determining your customer retention rate, don’t worry. Many companies make this their first step when determining the success of their customer-friendly policies.

Advanced product management tools can facilitate better product delivery and ensure higher retention. 

Take a look at this product management software and tell us how much you love it!

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