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Churn Rate


Churn rate is the percentage of customers or subscribers who stop using a product or service over time.

What is churn rate?

Josh Pigford, Founder of Baremetrics, says that if churn isn’t in the single digits, it’s absolutely the only thing you should be focusing on.

The churn rate, also known as the attrition rate, measures the percentage of users who stop using a product or service over time. Put simply,  churn rate measures how many customers or revenue the company has lost during a certain period of time. So it is always better to keep this number low as possible.

Churn rate is an essential metric for businesses because it indicates a company's health and stability and helps identify potential problems that need to be addressed.

Why is it important to measure churn rate?

Churn rate is one of the key business metrics to track in a subscription Dashboard like Stripe, Chargebee, etc. There are several reasons why businesses need to measure churn rates.

First, a high churn rate can indicate that the product, service, or customer experience is not meeting expectations. This can indicate that the company is failing to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction, which could lead it to lose customers.

Second, monitoring a company's churn rate can help it identify and address problems causing customers to leave.

For example, if a company finds that customers are churning at high rates in one market or among one demographic group, it can investigate the reasons and take steps to address the issue.

In addition, measuring customer churn can be helpful in forecasting and budgeting. By understanding the rate customers leave, businesses can make more accurate predictions about future revenue (and expenses).

Measuring churn rate is essential for companies because it can help identify potential problems, improve customer retention, and support better decision-making.

How do you calculate churn rate?

There are two main ways to calculate churn rates; both are fairly straightforward. 

  1. Customer churn
  2. Revenue churn 

For a complete picture of the company's churn, it is important for the customer success team to analyze revenue and customer churn.

Understand that the time period used to determine a churn rate can vary, depending on the business and specific circumstances.

Most companies measure churn rates monthly, but some use quarterly or annual time periods. The important thing is to choose a consistent and relevant period for measuring churn.

Customer churn rate Formula

Customer churn rate is the percentage of customers who cancel their subscription or service. Tracking this metric will give insight into how satisfied your customers are and whether they will likely remain loyal if given a better option elsewhere.

You can calculate the churn rate by simply dividing the customer churned over a period of time divided by the customer at the start of that time period and multiplying by 100.

Customer churn rate formula
Customer churn rate formula

For example, if a company has 1000 customers at the start of a month  and 100 of those customers cancel their service during that month, the churn rate for that month would be calculated as follows:

Churn rate = (100 / 1000) x 100 = 10

Revenue churn rate Formula

The revenue churn rate measures the percentage of lost revenue due to customers canceling their subscriptions or products. It's calculated by dividing the annual revenue lost  by the total annual recurring revenue

Formula for Revenue churn rate
Revenue churn rate formula

Different factors can influence this formula’s outcome, like how your company defines an active vs. inactive user or the period of time you’re looking at.

It is essential to distinguish between customer churn and revenue churn(which can be confusing, we know). The latter measures how much of your Monthly Recurring revenue (MRR) was lost over a given period of time.

Both metrics should be included in your dashboard for a realistic assessment of the health of your SaaS business.

Churn Rate Calculator


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What is a good churn rate?

In the Recurly benchmark report, the average churn rate of subscriptions is 5.57%. However, this number varies widely across industries and business models. Make sure you know what the standard is in your industry and how yours compares.

However, a business with a low churn rate tends to be more successful.

Median churn rate by industry
Median Churn rate by Industry

Churn rate vs. retention rate?

Churn rate measures how many customers stop doing business with you during a given period.

Retention rate measures the number of existing customers who continue doing business with you over time.

In other words, if you have 100 customers and 10 of them cancel their subscription, your monthly churn rate would be 10% and your retention rate would be 90%. That's it.

What are the factors that can affect churn rate?

Several factors can affect the churn rate. Some of the most common include,

  • Lack of product or service innovation: If a company does not regularly introduce new and improved products or services, customers may grow bored with its offerings or frustrated by the lack of innovation. This can be a big problem for businesses operating in fast-paced and competitive industries.
  • Poor user experience: If a company's product or service is difficult to use, customers may be more likely to churn—that is, cancel their subscriptions. This can pose problems for customer-focused businesses aiming to cultivate long-lasting user relationships through user-friendly interactions.
  • Poor customer service: The level of customer satisfaction can significantly impact whether or not customers remain loyal to the company. This can create problems for businesses that rely heavily on customer support—especially if their current customers aren't satisfied with their experience.
  • High prices: When a company's prices are significantly higher than its competitors, customers may be more likely to churn—or switch to cheaper options. This is especially true when the price is the main factor influencing an industry's buyers.
  • Competition from other companies: If a company faces stiff competition from companies offering similar products or services, it may have difficulty retaining its customers.

How to reduce the churn rate?

There are several strategies that businesses can use to reduce churn rates and improve customer retention. Some of the most effective include:

  • Better user experience: By improving the experience customers have with its products or services, a business can increase customer satisfaction and make it more likely that these same customers will continue to do business. This strategy can involve user testing, implementing user feedback (both quantitative and qualitative), and investing in UX design/experiments for continued improvement.
  • Investing in developing new products or services: Businesses can improve customer service by regularly introducing new and improved products or services. Investing in research and development to create new products or services that meet customer needs is one way of developing a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Exceptional customer service: Businesses can improve their customer experience and increase the likelihood that customers will continue to use their products or services by investing in customer service training, hiring more support staff, etc., or using new technologies to solve customer support issues.
  • Offering lower prices than the competition: To retain customers, businesses can make it more difficult for people to switch to cheaper alternatives by conducting regular price comparisons with competitors and adjusting their own prices based on market conditions. They may also offer special deals or discounts—unrelated to the quality of their products or services—to retain customers.
  • Developing customer loyalty programs: Businesses can increase customer loyalty by offering rewards and incentives. This can be accomplished by implementing loyalty programs that provide special discounts, free products or services—or other rewards—for customers who stick with the company for a certain period of time.

Reducing customer churn rate increase your ROI and drive long-term success for your business. Learn how to effectively reduce customer churn rate and improve customer retention.

How to visualize churn rate in the dashboard?

Take a look at the data visualization for more on how to track churn rate in a Dataflo dashboard.

Churn rate in Dataflo

Churned subscriptions in Dataflo
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Churn rate vs. retention rate?
Is a high churn rate good?
What is a good churn rate?

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