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What is Customer Retention Rate?

Customer retention rate is the percentage of existing customers who remain customers after a given period.

How is customer retention calculated?

To calculate customer retention rate, divide the number of customers at the end of a period by the number of customers at the beginning of that period. Remove the number of new customers and then multiply the result by 100.

Customer retention rate is most typically measured as an annual number, so if you are using quarterly or monthly data, just multiply by the number of periods (4 or 12) to get the annual result. Here is the annual customer retention rate, calculated from quarterly data.

Customer Retention Rate formula

In effect, customer retention is the opposite of customer churn, measuring the portion of customers that stay with a company. It can be measured several ways, including calculating the retention rate as described above or by tracking the number of repeat purchases or the length of time a customer continues to do business with a company. For many B2B SaaS companies, customer retention rate is synonymous with logo retention.

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How is Customer Retention used by SaaS companies?

SaaS (Software as a Service) companies rely on customer retention as a key factor in their business model. A high customer retention rate generates consistent, predictable revenue and supports long-term growth.

What is a good Customer Retention Rate?

A good customer retention rate will vary depending on the specific industry and market in which a company operates, as well as its size and stage of development. In general, a high and consistently increasing customer retention rate is considered positive.

What are the Customer Retention benchmarks?

There are no specific benchmarks for customer retention, as it will vary significantly depending on the industry, market, and other factors. It is important for a company to track its customer retention rate over time and compare it to its own past performance.

Typically, Net Dollar Retention is used to measure customer retention across SaaS companies. See here for a full definition and details. 

Customer Retention Visualisation Example

This chart is an example of customer retention shown over two years. Multi-year graphs make it much easier to understand trends, improvements, even seasonality.

Customer Retention Rate graph

ScaleXP fully automates customer retention rate calculations. Through integrations with both of your accounting and CRM systems, as well as a smart set of text recognition algorithms, the system provides a fully automated view of customer retention. Graphs, such as the one shown, are interactive, allowing you to easily see detailed data, even a breakdown by customer name. 

Customer retention is just one of several important SaaS metrics, automated by the ScaleXP platform. To read more about how the system can automate your SaaS metrics, click here.

You may also be interested in

SaaS magic number icon

Customer Churn

Customer churn is the percentage of customers who stop doing business with a company or using a service.

Net Dollar Retention icon

Net Dollar Retention

Measures growth in revenue from a group of customers. Typically split into upgrades, downgrades, renewals and losses.

Customer Retention Rate icon

Net Revenue Churn

Increase in MRR from current customers, calculated from Churned and Downgraded less Upsells.


Read about more SaaS metrics, from ARR to Rule of 40.

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