Churn Rate

What is Churn Rate 

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Understanding churn rate is crucial for SaaS companies to measure customer satisfaction, retention and growth. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to calculate customer churn rate and revenue churn rate. 

It explains what good churn rates are, and provide tips to reduce churn and improve customer retention.

Key Takeaways

  • Churn rate is the percentage of customers you lose in a period. It helps you measure customer satisfaction and retention.
  • There are two main ways to calculate churn:
    • Customer churn rate
    • Revenue churn rate
  • Acceptable SaaS churn rates vary by industry, but 5-7% monthly is a general ballpark. Lower is better.
  • Monitor churn rate monthly over time, and compare to benchmarks. Measure churn for customer segments for more insights.
  • If churn is high, talk to customers and analyze behavior to understand the drivers. Enact targeted strategies to reduce churn and improve retention.

Accurately measuring and tracking churn rate over time provides invaluable visibility into the long-term health of a SaaS business. Use churn insights to make data-driven decisions on how to keep more customers happy, engaged and paying each month.

What is Churn Rate?

Churn rate refers to the percentage of customers you lose in a given period. It is the rate at which customers stop doing business with your company.

Churn rate is typically expressed as a percentage. For example, a 5% churn rate means that 5% of your customers canceled their subscriptions or stopped paying you in that period.

The churn rate helps SaaS businesses determine how successful they are at retaining customers. Tracking churn is important because acquiring new customers often costs more than keeping existing ones. A high churn rate could indicate poor customer satisfaction or problems with your product/service.


Why Calculate Churn Rate?

There are several reasons why SaaS businesses need to calculate churn rate:

  • Understand the health of your business – Churn rate helps you identify issues driving customers away so you can make improvements.

  • Set retention goals – Knowing your churn rate allows you to set goals to reduce it.

  • Project future revenue – When you understand churn, you can better predict recurring revenue and cash flow.

  • Benchmark success – Compare your churn rate over time and against industry averages to see if you are improving.

  • Identify at-risk customers – Look at churn by customer segment to find and target customers most likely to leave.

So in summary, accurately tracking and measuring churn rate is crucial for making smart business decisions to improve customer retention and growth.

How to Calculate Customer Churn Rate

Churn rate can be calculated at different intervals depending on your needs – monthly, quarterly, annually etc. Let’s look at how to calculate monthly churn rate as an example:

 				 					Monthly Churn Rate = Number of Customers Lost in a Month / Total Number of Customers at the start of the month 				 			

For example, if you had 10,000 customers at the start of January and lost 500 of them by the start of February, your monthly churn rate would be:

 				 					500 / 10,000 = 5%   				 			

To expand on this, here are the specifics of how to calculate churn rate:

  • Choose your calculation period – monthly, annually etc.

  • Define churn – when do you consider a customer “lost”? e.g. canceled subscription, payment failure etc.

  • Determine the number of customers you had at the start of the calculation period.

  • Determine the number of customers you lost by the end of the period. This should align with how you defined churn above.

  • Divide the number of lost customers by the starting number of customers.

  • Multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.

To track churn long term, calculate the rate each month and chart it over time to see trends. You can calculate churn for the entire customer base or do it for specific customer segments if you want more details.

Examples of churn rate by Industries: What is a Good Churn Rate?

There is no one-size-fits-all churn rate that is considered “good”. The acceptable churn rate varies greatly based on industry. Here are some examples:

  • SaaS industry average – 5-7% monthly

  • Online software – 2-3% monthly

  • Media streaming – 3-5% monthly

  • Cloud storage – 1-2% monthly

  • Mobile games – 5-10% monthly

As you can see, the acceptable churn rate for SaaS and internet-based services tends to be higher than traditional subscription businesses.

A good way to define a target is to look at well-run businesses in your industry and aim for a lower churn rate than their average. Improvement over time is also a good sign – if your churn rate is decreasing month-to-month, you are on the right track.

Tips to Reduce Churn and Improve Customer Retention

If your SaaS business has unsatisfactory churn and retention rates, here are some ways to turn it around:

1. Improve onboarding

Good onboarding ensures customers understand your product’s value quickly.

2. Listen to customer feedback

Reach out to churned/at-risk customers to understand why they are leaving.

3. Provide education & training

Help customers get up to speed and maximize value from your product.

4. Develop loyalty programs

Rewards and VIP benefits encourage long-term commitment.

5. Offer promotions

Special deals for renewals makes existing customers feel valued.

6. Focus on high-quality support

Quick, personalized support increases satisfaction.

7. Build relationships

Engage customers and build rapport through account management.

8. Increase product usage

More product usage leads to higher retention. Offer tips and guidance.

9. Improve product quality

Fix bugs, increase speed, add features customers ask for.

10. Segment your customers

Target specific solutions to customers with higher churn risk.

Conclusion about customer churn rate and revenue

In conclusion, customer churn rate and revenue are closely related and have a significant impact on the success and profitability of a business.

A high churn rate means that the business is losing customers at a rapid pace.

Which can result in a decrease in revenue.

This can be due to various reasons such as:

  • poor customer service,
  • lack of product differentiation,
  • or intense competition.

On the other hand, a low churn rate indicates that customers are loyal and satisfied, leading to higher revenue and profitability.

Reducing customer churn can also positively impact revenue through increased customer lifetime value. By retaining customers, businesses can benefit from recurring purchases.

Therefore, it is crucial for managers to closely monitor customer churn rate and take proactive measures to mitigate it.

Such as improving customer experience, providing personalized offers, and implementing effective retention strategies.


Customer churn rate refers to the rate at which customers of a product or service stop using it or cancel their subscription. It is a metric that measures how many customers you lose over a specific time period.

To calculate the customer churn rate in SaaS projects, you can divide the number of customers who churned during a specific period by the total number of customers at the beginning of that period. Multiply the result by 100 to get the churn rate percentage.

The monthly churn rate is the percentage of customers who cancel their subscription or stop using a product or service in a given month. It is a measure of customer attrition on a monthly basis.

A high churn rate can have significant negative impacts on a SaaS business. It can lead to a loss of revenue, decreased customer acquisition, increased customer support and customer success efforts, and hinder overall growth. It is crucial for SaaS businesses to actively monitor and reduce their churn rate.

The annual churn rate is the percentage of customers who cancel their subscription or stop using a product or service over a one-year period. It provides a broader perspective on customer attrition and is commonly used to measure long-term customer retention.

To calculate the churn rate, divide the number of customers who churned during a specific period by the total number of customers at the beginning of that period. Multiply the result by 100 to get the churn rate percentage.

Churn rate and revenue churn rate are closely related. When customers churn, it directly impacts the revenue generated by a business. Higher churn rate means higher revenue churn and can result in a loss of recurring revenue.

Churn rate calculations can vary in complexity based on the specific metrics and time periods considered. However, the basic formula to calculate churn rate is relatively simple. It involves dividing the number of customers who churned by the total number of customers.

Businesses can track churn rate by regularly analyzing their customer data and tracking the number of customers who churn over a specific time period. This requires data collection, analysis, and using tools or software to monitor and measure churn rate.

Lowering your churn rate is important because it can have a significant impact on the long-term success and growth of your business. By reducing customer churn, you can improve customer retention, increase customer lifetime value, and maintain a stable revenue stream.


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