Customer Retention 101: The Why and How of Measuring Success

Customer Retention 101: The Why and How of Measuring Success

Customer retention is your company's ability to retain its current clientele and their satisfaction throughout the customer journey. It serves as an insightful gauge of your business's overall well-being. When your customer retention rate (CRR) is notably high, it is a strong indicator that your customers find your product quality, level of customer service, and personalized customer experience exceptionally satisfying.

Valuable data underscores the fact that acquiring a new customer can be up to five times costlier than preserving an existing one. As per a study conducted by Bain & Company in collaboration with Earl Sasser of the Harvard Business School, profits can experience a substantial surge, ranging from 25 to 95 percent, with just a 5% increase in customer retention. Notably, the probability of successfully selling to an existing customer hovers around 60–70%, a sharp contrast to the meager 2-5% success rate when attempting to sell to a new customer.

The importance of customer retention, personalized customer interactions, and corporate gifting are critical components to enhancing customer relationships and profitability:

1. Customer Appreciation and Retention: It's not just about securing customers; it's about keeping them. In a competitive business landscape, customers must feel more than just satisfied; they must feel valued and important. This emotional connection can be the difference between a one-time purchase and a long-term, loyal customer. Customers who sense that a business genuinely cares about their needs and concerns are more likely to stay committed. On the contrary, they may seek alternatives if they feel neglected or unappreciated.

2. The Significance of the Customer Journey: The customer journey has evolved into a critical aspect of modern business. According to the 2022 Global Consumer Trends Report, 60% of customers will spend more with a company if the customer experience is better than a direct competitor. The customer journey encompasses every touchpoint with the business, from initial awareness to post-purchase interactions. It's not just about the end product but the entire experience. Personalized interactions at each stage of this journey play a vital role in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

3. The Power of Personalized Corporate Gifting: Personalized corporate gifting is an ideal example of how businesses can harness the power of personalization to craft a genuinely distinct and unforgettable customer experience. It transcends the realm of mere transactions and delves into the art of fostering genuine connections. When a company invests in a thoughtful, professionally curated gift that reflects a profound understanding of the recipient and resonates with the core values and interests of the company itself, it sets the stage for something remarkable.

Such a personalized gift isn't just a token of appreciation; it's a testament to the company's commitment to going the extra mile to understand its clients and their uniqueness. This level of attentiveness can be transformative in building and nurturing positive customer relationships. In offering a personalized touch, a company is essentially saying, "We see you, we hear you, and we value you." It's an acknowledgment of the individuality and preferences of each client. This personal touch goes a long way in making clients feel like they are a special and valued part of the business's extended family, not just another customer. It creates an emotional bond that transcends the transactional aspects of business. In today's competitive market, this emotional connection can be a potent tool in retaining loyal customers and attracting new ones. So, personalized corporate gifting isn't merely about giving a gift; it's about providing an experience, a lasting memory, and an assurance that the company genuinely cares about its clients. It can set a business apart from competitors and turn ordinary transactions into extraordinary, enduring relationships.

4. Elements of Successful Corporate Gifts: Successful corporate gifts that yield an impressive return on investment (ROI) have common elements. Personalization is a crucial factor. Personalization elevates the corporate gift. According to data from Porch Media, personalization can generate an ROI ranging from 5 to 8 times the initial investment. This impressive return on investment underscores the immense value of personalization when sending gifts to customers.

5. The Long-Term Value of Individualized Relationships: Building enduring, individualized client relationships is pivotal to your business's success. Loyal, long-term customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, refer others to your business, and become brand advocates. It's not just about short-term gains; it's about nurturing a customer base that will sustain and grow your business over time.

Customer Retention Metrics & KPIs

The significance of increasing your company's customer retention rate is evident. Before you can improve your customer retention rate, it's essential to have a clear understanding of what success entails and a way to measure it accurately. One way to gauge your success is by utilizing the standard retention metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics provide the necessary data for implementing strategies to boost retention while improving profitability.

  1. Customer Retention Rate (CRR)
  2. Customer Churn Rate (CCR)
  3. Revenue Churn Rate (MRR)
  4. Current Customer Revenue Growth Rate
  5. Time Between Purchases
  6. Repeat Purchase Rate (RPR)
  7. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  8. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
  9. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  10. Customer Effort Score (CES)

How to Calculate Customer Retention Rate (CRR)

Measures: The rate at which your business continues to retain customers over a predetermined time frame

Formula: Customer Retention Rate Percentage = ( (Customers at the End of the Period) - (New Customers Acquired) / Customers at the Start of the Period) x 100

 CRR Formula

How to Calculate Customer Churn Rate

The percentage of customers returning to your business is known as the retention rate. Whereas churn rate measures how many customers you've lost over a period of time. The average company loses 10 to 25 percent of its clients annually. By design, a business with a high churn rate will have a lower retention rate.

Measures: The rate at which a company stops doing business with you

Formula: Churn Rate Percentage =. (Customers at the Start of the Period - Customers at the End of the Period) / (Customers at the Start of the Period) x 100

 CCR Formula 

How to Calculate Revenue Churn Rate (MRR Churn)

Revenue churn is the proportion of revenue you lose because of lost customers over a given period, while customer churn is the percentage of customers you lose over a certain period. It is commonly measured in monthly intervals. It provides insight into customer satisfaction and whether or not a customer could be considering leaving.

MRR Churn Formula

Measures: The rate of revenue your business has lost from existing clients

Formula: Monthly Revenue Churn Rate Percentage = [ [(MRR* at Start of Month - MRR* at End of Month) - MRR* in Upgrades during Month] / MRR* at Start of Month] x 100

Take the monthly recurring revenue (MRR) you lost that month, subtract any upgrades or extra earnings from current customers, divide it by the total MMR at the beginning of the month, and then multiply by 100 to get the percentage of revenue that has churned.

How to Calculate Customer Revenue Growth Rate

Revenue growth rate analyzes comparative improvement (month-over-month) rather than current revenue. The growth rate is beneficial internally, but investors are also interested in seeing this measure as they assess a company's current and future growth potential.

It is crucial to compute an extended time frame (12–18 months) when calculating the revenue growth rate to ensure that your percentages appropriately reflect a trend rather than a single exponential growth curve.

Current Customer Revenue Growth Rate

Measures: The rate at which your business is generating revenue

Formula: Monthly Revenue Growth Rate Percentage = [(MRR at the End of Month - MRR at the Start of Month) / MRR at the Start of Month] x 100

 How to Calculate Time Between Purchases

An excellent way to determine your product or service's overall strengths and weaknesses is to compare the average time between purchases with other customer satisfaction indicators, such as Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Calculating CSAT manually would take a lot of effort, but customer retention management (CRM) software can efficiently track the interval between client purchases.

Time Between Purchases

Measures: The average number of days a customer takes to make another purchase from you, excluding new acquisitions, when looking at the past 365 days.

Formula: Time Between Purchases = 365/(Number of orders in past 365 days / number of unique customers in past 365 days) 

How to Calculate Repeat Purchase Rate (RPR)

The repeat purchase rate (RPR), also known as the repeat customer rate (RCR), is the proportion of current customers that make a second purchase within a specific time frame. For e-commerce platforms like Shopify, your sales dashboard will typically allow you to view the proportion of recurring consumers calculated in real time.

This measure also applies to things other than products, such as contract extensions and recurring subscriptions. A high proportion of repeat business is a strong sign that your clientele is devoted to your brand. When examining this indicator, going further into specific client accounts is crucial. Client A, for instance, makes a single, sizable purchase in March, whereas Client B makes several smaller purchases during the year.

RPR Formula

Measures: the rate at which existing customers make an additional purchase during a specific period

Formula: Repeat Purchase Rate Percentage = (Number of customers who made more than one purchase / Total number of customers) x 100 

How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value (CLV), also known as lifetime customer value (LCV) or lifetime value (LV), is the total revenue an organization can expect from a client throughout their relationship. Because it is less expensive to keep existing clients than it is to get new ones, increasing the value of your current clientele is a wise growth plan. Budgeting for customer acquisition, predicting profitability, and establishing growth and improvement goals can all be aided by CLV analysis.

As a financial forecast, customer lifetime value requires a business to base its hypotheses on statistical averages. In order to establish a customer's lifetime value or CLV, a business owner must make an educated guess as to the average sale value, the average number of transactions, and the duration of the business connection with a specific client. Businesses having a long history and access to historical customer data may predict client lifetime value more precisely than startups.


Measures: the financial prediction of the revenue generated by a single client over the duration of doing business with a company

Formula: Customer Lifetime Value = Customer Value * Average Customer Lifespan

Customer Value = Average Purchase Value * Average Number of Purchases


How to Calculate Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

A client's customer satisfaction score (CSAT) represents how satisfied they are with the goods or services they have received. CSAT surveys often include an easy 5-point scale or distinct happy and sad faces. Surveys are usually sent upon receiving a product or using a service. Scores of 1 to 3 represent dissatisfied clients, while 4 and 5 represent happy ones.


Measure: a measure of how satisfied a customer is with a product or service

Formula: Customer satisfaction score = (Total positive scores / Number of respondents) x 100


How to Calculate Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The industry benchmark for measuring customer experience is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Based on answers to the following query: "On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?" it is a numerical evaluation of customer loyalty, satisfaction, and devotion.

Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.


Measure: measures the loyalty of customers to a company

Formula: Net Promoter Score = % promoters - % detractors

detractors: customers who answer with a six or lower

promoters: customers who score you a 9 or 10


How to Calculate Customer Effort Score (CES)

A statistic for measuring customer experience called the Customer Effort Score (CES) gauges how easy it is for customers to use your product or service, resolve a support issue, or get the information they need. Customers are asked to rate their effort on a scale of 1 to 7 in a CES survey. How to calculate a customer's level of effort: Divide the total number of survey respondents by the sum of all the scores you receive. Divide the outcome by the total number of survey options, then multiply the result by 100.


Measure: measures the amount of work a customer had to put in to use a product or service, acquire the information they needed, or get a problem fixed

Formula: Customer Effort Score = ((Total scores / # of respondents) / # of options) x 100


The profound importance of customer retention and its pivotal role in business success is evident. A high customer retention rate reflects customer satisfaction and significantly impacts a company's profitability. Customer retention metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) offer a unique customer engagement and loyalty perspective. These metrics, from the Customer Retention Rate (CRR) to the Customer Effort Score (CES), are invaluable tools for gauging customer interactions and experiences. By using these metrics, businesses can identify areas of improvement, foster customer relationships, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth and profitability.

It's evident that in today's competitive market, customer retention is not just a strategy but a necessity. Businesses prioritizing understanding and measuring customer retention are better equipped to thrive and remain ahead of the curve. By appreciating the significance of these metrics and actively using them, companies can create enduring relationships, enhance customer satisfaction, and secure a brighter future in the ever-evolving world of commerce. So, it's time for businesses to seize the advantage and embrace the power of customer retention.


Key Takeaways

Metrics bring customer retention into perspective and make it easier to spot chances for expansion and continuous, sustainable profitability.

A company's average client retention rate is 75.5%.
Recurring customers account for 65% of an average company's
r evenue.
Knowing a customer's lifetime worth will help you identify the most lucrative sectors so you can concentrate on tapping into them.
If you can convince just 5% more of your clients to continue doing business with you, your profits might increase by 25–95%.
It costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Happy, loyal clients are more likely to refer businesses to others, which lowers acquisition expenses.
72% of consumers will change brands after a negative interaction. The average business loses 10 to 25 percent of its clients annually.

Only 18% of businesses prioritize customer retention above customer acquisition, despite the fact that it can have significant advantages. Grab the advantage for your business!


Data Resources

  1. "How to Measure and Improve Customer Retention with 7 Core Metrics and KPIs." Hotjar Customer Retention Guide. Nov

  2. Reichheld, Fred and Schefter, Phil. "The Economics of E-Loyalty." Harvard Business School, Working Knowledge Business Research for Business Leaders. July 2000. -e-loyalt y

  3. "Are you Getting Personal? Data-Driven Personalization Delivers 5 to 8 Times the ROI on Marketing Spend." Porch Group Media. t ing-personal-dat a-driven-personalization-delivers-5-8-times-roi-marketing-spend/

  4. Mansfield, Matt "Customer Retention Statistics - The Ultimate Collection for Small Business. Small Business Trends. Dec 2022. statistics.html?expand_article=1

  5. "Customer Retention: 7 Ways to Keep Existing Customers and Increase Profits!" SuperOffice. Oct 2022. crm-software

  6. McCain, Abby. "28 Critical Customer Retention Statistics [2023]: Average Customer Retention Rate by Industry. Jan 2023.

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