4 min read
Customer attrition
Do you know your rate of customer churn? Discover how to calculate your customer attrition rate as a SaaS company.

Customer attrition

Link to this section

Customer churn can be a major roadblock to your company’s growth and financial success.

By focusing on customer retention strategies, monitoring data and feedback, and improving the customer experience, you can successfully reduce customer attrition rates and boost customer loyalty.

A customer-centric approach that emphasizes personalized communication, proactive problem-solving, and ongoing analysis and optimization is key to reducing customer attrition rates.

By understanding the key factors behind customer attrition, this data can be used to keep your users engaged with your platform for longer.

Defining customer attrition

Link to this section

Customer attrition, commonly known as customer churn, is a metric that measures the loss of customers over a specific time.

While customer attrition is a normal part of the customer lifecycle, it’s important to measure and track this metric and minimize it as much as possible.

As a metric, tracking customer attrition does not identify the underlying cause of churn, but it may help you understand how and when a customer is churning.

The customer attrition metric is an effective tool to track customer churn, analyze customer trends, and identify patterns to take a proactive approach to win back customers.

Calculating customer attrition

Link to this section

Calculating your customer attrition rate can help you to understand how many customers are leaving your service.

Before calculating your customer attrition rate, you will first need to determine the specific timeframe you want to measure. That will likely be by comparing data month-on-month, but make sure you choose a period that best aligns with your needs.

To calculate your customer attrition rate, you also need to know how many customers have churned during the specified period.

Attrition (%) = Lost customers / Starting customers X 100

For example, the subscription-based streaming service, FlixFlow, wants to calculate its customer attrition over the past year.

Let’s say FlixFlow had 1,000 paying subscribers in January. However, by the end of the year, FlixFlow had lost 100 customers.

Using the above calculation, we can determine that FlixFlow’s attrition rate for the past year is 10%.

Why is customer attrition important?

Link to this section

Customer attrition can have a significant impact on your company’s financial performance and bottom line.

One of the most significant consequences of customer attrition is a reduction in revenue. In SaaS companies, recurring revenue (whether that’s ARR or MRR) is a critical indicator of long-term viability, and customer attrition can directly decrease it.

A high customer attrition rate also indicates a high loss of future revenue from customers. To mitigate the impact of customer attrition, businesses should strive to maintain a large customer base to buffer against individual customer losses.

Customer attrition rates can have a significant impact on the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) to Lifetime Value (LTV) ratio. CAC represents the cost incurred in acquiring a new customer, while LTV is the total revenue that a business can expect from a customer over their lifetime.

A high customer attrition rate can lead to a lower LTV, meaning you’re spending more on acquiring new customers without extracting enough revenue from them across their account’s lifetime.

How to reduce customer attrition

Link to this section

If you notice a spike in attrition, it may be an indication that your customer journey needs attention.

In order to reduce customer attrition, it is important to have a retention strategy that focuses on nurturing customer relationships, providing thorough onboarding, accessible help centers, and designing intuitive products that can help set customers up for success and prevent attrition.

There are three main areas that companies can focus on to reduce customer attrition:

  1. Rethink your customer acquisition approach: Sometimes, the customers you acquire may not be the best fit for the company in the long term. To address this, you can use customer intelligence systems to identify customers that are less likely to churn and invest more in targeting these audience segments.
  2. Refine your offering: You should consider whether your products or services are meeting customer needs and how they compare to your competitors.
  3. Improving the customer experience: Today’s consumers have high expectations for every interaction they have with a company. You should look carefully at every touchpoint with customers, from your website’s user experience to delivery time to customer service and support.

By focusing on customer retention strategies, monitoring data and feedback, and improving the customer experience, you can successfully reduce customer attrition rates and even boost customer loyalty.

Get started now

Boost security, drive conversion and save money — in just a few minutes.