How to Calculate Customer Retention Rate? (+ Benefits)

How to Calculate customer retention rate

In SaaS, customer retention stands as a key indicator of sustained success. When you understand how to measure and improve customer retention rates, you can secure your business lasting customer loyalty, sustained growth, and a better market position.

In these unstable economic times when acquiring new customers is already difficult, the businesses that manage to retain their customers and keep them happy are those that can thrive and stay in the competition for long.  

Therefore, if you wish to learn how to calculate customer retention rates and improve them, read on.

What is the Retention Rate?

The customer retention rate proves whether your business is able to retain its customer base and prevent churn or not.

The higher the customer retention rate, the clearer the indication that your customers are loyal and satisfied and have positive outlooks on your software, customer service, and overall business strategies that you implemented.

Why is Customer Retention Rate Important?

Customer retention rate is important in SaaS businesses due to its direct impact on the sustainability and health of a business. Here are the key reasons:

  • It’s cost-efficient

Acquiring new customers is usually more costly than retaining existing ones. If the retention rates are high, that may minimize the need for great marketing and acquisition expenses. 

  • It ensures revenue stability

High retention rates ensure a stable and predictable revenue stream, as recurring subscriptions are a large part of SaaS businesses’ income.

  • It’s a foundation for business growth

Strong customer retention serves as a foundation for business growth. This further allows you to invest in product development, innovation, and market expansion.

  •  It maximizes Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

A prolonged customer retention period indicates increased CLV, which means that your customers are satisfied and ready for recurring subscriptions, and the possibility for your business to generate revenue over an extended period.

  • It can ensure continuous improvement

The valuable feedback and insights you get from your retained users aid in product development and enhancement that align closely with their needs and preferences.

How to Calculate Customer Retention Rate?

Here’s a step-by-step guide for using a customer retention rate formula:

  1. Select a certain time frame (monthly, quarterly, or annually) for the start. 
  2. Count the number of customers at the beginning and end of the selected period.
  3. Apply the formula:
a customer retention rate formula

Now, make sure to track and analyze them frequently to get all the insights that can help you create effective retention strategies. 

Important Customer Retention Metrics

There are several key customer retention metrics in SaaS you should track:

  • Churn Rate — It shows the percentage of customers who are no longer active and stopped using your services or cancelled their subscription over a given period. 
  • Revenue Churn — Revenue churn shows you how much MRR (monthly recurring revenue) you lost over the given time frame.
  • The Customer Health Score — Health scores show customer engagement, interactions, and usage data to predict the possibility of retention. If you’re looking for an all-in-one customer success platform that comes with advanced customer segmentation options, including the customer health score, try Akita. Akita allows you to streamline all your customer data into a single platform to get a full overview of each customer. This is how you can adapt your customer retention strategies to fit each cohort’s needs and preferences, improve customer retention, and predict and prevent churn.
  • Renewal Rate —This metric shows the percentage of users who renew their subscriptions after the contract term has ended. 

Now that you know how to find the customer retention rate and how to improve retention let’s go over what’s a good rate.

What Is a Good Retention Rate?

It’s difficult to define a good customer retention rate as it varies based on different factors, but a strong retention rate in the SaaS industry is usually considered to be somewhere around 90%.

The size of the business, the target market, the frequency of calculating the customer retention rate, and the competitive landscape are some of the factors that determine whether the retention rate can be defined as “good.”. 

Strategies to Improve the Retention Rate

Some of the most effective strategies to improve retention rates in the SaaS industry include:

  • Personalized onboarding

Offer tailored onboarding that addresses customer needs to personalize each customer’s experience. Make sure to guide users through the product’s value propositions and user interface to provide a seamless process.

  • Proactive customer support

By offering timely customer support through various channels, you can resolve your customers’ issues promptly and effectively. Also, keep the customers engaged with product updates and tips on using the platform and its core and additional features.

  • Customer segmentation and retention metrics analysis

Segment your customers based on their similar traits and leverage data analytics to understand their behavior, preferences, and pain points. Also, start tracking retention rates regularly to identify areas for improvement. Use Akita for high-edge customer segmentation, get visual metrics, and track each customer’s health score. Set automated triggers for the accounts that need extra care or intervene manually when necessary.

  • Reward programs

Implement loyalty programs or exclusive offers for newly acquired and long-term users to motivate continued engagement.

How to Do a Retention Analysis?

To successfully perform retention analysis, it is crucial to assess customer retention rates over specific periods. This is how you can understand churn patterns and identify factors contributing to attrition. Let’s see how to do retention analysis in SaaS:

  1. Calculate retention rates — Use the formula for customer retention above to get the numbers.
  2. Perform cohort analysis — Analyze retention rates within customer cohorts to get insights into how different groups behave over time. Then, compare retention rates between cohorts to see the differences and identify trends.
  3. Calculate the Churn Rate
  4. Customer segmentation — Segment customers based on demographics, behavior, and usage patterns to understand retention dynamics between segments.
  5. Identify retention factors — Analyze factors that contribute to customer retention or churn like feature usage, engagement levels, etc.


Understanding and leveraging customer retention rates is crucial in SaaS. Go through this article and learn how to calculate customer retention rate so you can have valuable insights into customer loyalty, satisfaction, and the efficiency of your retention strategy.

In order to improve customer retention use the customer retention formula to learn the right metrics, because a company must put in continuous efforts to ensure proactive customer support and engagement, and an ongoing commitment to strengthen customer relationships to prevent them from even thinking about switching to a competitor.

That’s not an easy task, but with the right tools, like Akita, its advanced customer segmentation tools, and a motivated team where every member has the same objective, you can improve customer retention rates much faster and easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I measure the effectiveness of retention strategies?

To measure effectiveness monitor retention rates, compare them with the previous period, and track customer engagement metrics to see how they stand.

Is there a single solution that can improve retention rates?

No, there’s no single solution. Firstly, you need to understand your customer base, their needs and preferences. Then, you should apply a personalized approach that aligns with the given preferences to get the best results!

How frequently should I calculate the retention rate?

You can calculate retention rates monthly, quarterly, and annually, depending on the billing cycle and subscription plan.

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