What Is Customer Attrition? How to Calculate and Reduce It

June 30, 2022

If you’re a business owner, it’s important to understand customer attrition and how to calculate it. After all, no one wants to see their customers leaving! Unfortunately, customer attrition is a reality for businesses – even the most successful ones. But don’t despair; there are ways to reduce it. In this blog post, we’ll tell you what is customer attrition and give you some tips on how to keep your customers happy (and loyal!).

What Is Customer Attrition?

What is customer attrition? Customer attrition or customer churn, turnover, or deflection, is the process whereby customers stop doing business with a company.

There are many reasons customers may choose to take their business elsewhere, including poor service, changes in the company’s offerings, or simply because they found a better deal elsewhere.

Customer attrition can be a significant problem for companies, leading to a loss of revenue and market share.

No company wants its customers to leave, but it’s not always clear which customers are the most likely to do so.

With predictive analytics, you can identify which customers are at a high risk of churning and which customers have specific reasons for leaving.

Companies can use this information to reach out to their at-risk clients and bring them back through targeted campaigns.

Why Analyzing Customer Attrition is Important

It is not surprising that losing customers can be bad for business. To a certain extent, customer attrition can be expected. Many companies, especially in the SaaS sector, accept customer loss as part of their growth process. This is a mistake as customer attrition can cause irreparable damage to your company in many ways. Here are some critical issues associated with high customer attrition rates:

  • Lost revenue – Client attrition is the main reason for less revenue. If your monthly revenue (MRR) starts to decline, your long-term viability could be in danger, especially in the eyes of potential investors.

  • A smaller customer base means fewer customers. More customers create a more excellent financial buffer. Therefore, the lower your customer attrition rate, the better.

  • Reduced CAC/LTV ratio – To maximize your profits, the customer life expectancy (LTV) must be greater than the CAC by a critical margin. If it isn’t, it could indicate that you are spending too much on new customers and not enough on maintaining existing customers. This could have a significant impact on your bottom line.

Once you have a better understanding of why customers leave your company, you can begin to calculate how many customers you have lost, what percentage of your overall revenue has been lost, how many new customers you will need to offset the loss, and how many customers your company has managed to retain.

The Negative Effects of Increased Customer Attrition

Losing customers is something that everyone knows instinctively. Some SaaS companies accept customer attrition as a natural part of the business. This is a dangerous attitude.

Although it may seem inevitable that customers will churn at some point, it is something that can be managed with a little effort. Importantly, it is possible to make your product more solid and attract more customers by taking the time to manage customer turnover.

It is possible to save money by taking proactive steps to reduce the customer churn rate. This will also help you acquire new customers. Let’s take a look at how customer attrition can harm your business.

Reduced revenue

Revenue is affected by customers leaving. In SaaS, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is not only the lifeblood of any company but also a sign of long-term viability. Revenue is directly affected by customer attrition, so it’s important to keep it at bay. If a customer isn’t satisfied, you lose the ability to monetize them.

Fewer customers

Imagine that you have a product and can convince one person to spend a million bucks per month on it. You may be able to ride high for a while if you can convince one person to spend a million dollars per month on your product. But if that customer leaves, you have lost that million.

Although this is an extreme example, it illustrates the importance of having as many customers as possible. A large client base is not just a source of revenue but also a buffer that can be used to assist in the event of attrition. You will be able to lose fewer customers the more customers you have. You must minimize attrition to attract a lot more customers.

Poor CAC: LTV ratio

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is the amount you use to acquire a customer. To maximize profits, the goal is for the CLV to be significantly higher than the cost to acquire that customer. Your customer lifetime value is the amount you can expect to receive from your clients over their time with your company.

You are running a losing business if you acquire new customers, and they end up churning before your costs have been recovered. A high CAC can indicate a high (and unsustainable) ARR.

Why Customers Leave

There are several reasons why a customer might opt out of your calls. Some are due to their own decision, while others are forced upon them.

Perhaps a potential customer’s business was acquired by a competitor, or the consumer may have experienced a lifestyle change that makes your product or service no longer necessary.

While it’s important to reach out to all people who leave your list, only those who voluntarily unsubscribe you should be concerned because they could also potentially turn into active detractors.

 It is important to try and keep your customers happy and loyal to your brand to avoid any voluntary attrition.

While the causes of employee turnover are as varied as the industries and companies in which they occur, some commonalities exist.

Customer attrition, or churn, is the number one enemy of growth for most companies. Why do customers leave? There are many root causes, but some generalities include poor customer service, product or service failure, inconsistency, lack of accommodations, and lack of empathy for the customer.

Eroding brand loyalty also contributes to a seismic shift in brand loyalty among consumers. If you don’t track your Net Promoter Score, you may not even know your churned customers are down-voting your company. Fortunately, customers whose problems are resolved to their complete satisfaction are almost as loyal as those who are problem-free.

Tactics for Reducing Customer Attrition

Reducing your customer attrition is a continuous process. 

When customer attrition spikes, it’s usually a sign that something in the customer experience is broken.

If you see a sudden increase in customer attrition, it’s essential to investigate the reasons behind it. This could be due to new bugs you are unaware of or users struggling with a new feature. By tracking customer data and responding to feedback, you can help to reduce customer attrition rates.

To maintain customer loyalty, you need to keep track of their information and address their issues. By following through with your promises and providing a good user experience, you can set them up for success with your product or service.

Your customers should access helpful resources, and your software should be free of bugs. By doing these things, you can increase the adoption of your platform and decrease your customer churn rates.

If you want to keep your customers around, having a data-driven retention strategy is crucial. By tracking customer retention rates, you can identify which customers are at risk of leaving and take steps to keep them engaged. This saves you from losing valuable customers and builds loyalty and goodwill among your customer base.

Losing customers is inevitable, but you shouldn’t just sit back and let it happen.

How to Predict Customer Attrition

Organizations can use historical data and performance indicators to build predictive models showing customer attrition likelihood. By automating actions like alerts for at-risk customers, companies can put tools in place to prevent customer attrition.

Companies today have various tools at their disposal to predict and prevent customers from churning.

Recurring revenue and subscriptions can be automated using specialized software to track different plans and prices.

Other companies can use CRM solutions to collect data that would otherwise be unavailable on customer accounts, such as billing, orders, and service requests. If customer “touches” seems to be dropping off, the system can trigger proactive outreach efforts to satisfy the customer base.

You can take steps to reduce your rate of clients leaving—but all of them begin with analyzing your data.

There are many benefits of having a single view of the customer, order, and item data. With this information, you can deliver better customer experiences, minimize attrition, and improve your business.

Customer Attrition Formula 

It’s important to take steps to avoid customer attrition, as it can be difficult to stop once it starts. To understand what you’re up against, you need to calculate your customer attrition rates.

The customer attrition formula can be beneficial in understanding and avoiding customer attrition.

The formula is:

Customer Attrition Rate = (Number of Customers Lost / Total Number of Customers) x 100

The attrition rate is calculated by dividing the number of lost clients by the total number of clients and multiplying it by 100.

15 divided by 400 (0.0375) is the client turnover rate. Multiplying this by 100 gives us 3.75%.

Your client attrition rate for the given period was 3.75%. This means that out of your total customer base, 3.75% churned during the period in question.


Thanks for reading! We hope this article helped you understand what is customer attrition and how to calculate it. Remember, there are ways to lower customer attrition rates – so don’t give up! Keep your customers happy, and they’ll stick around for the long haul.

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