How to Reduce Churn in SaaS: A Powerful but Simple Checklist

There is much written about reducing your churn in SaaS, but nothing that we could find that detailed everything in one place.

We hope this no frills but powerful checklist is helpful and provides an outline plan for you and your team.

If you are looking for checklist then check out our Go To Market Checklist.

Check out the following articles to learn more about Saas marketing:

Your company’s role in churn

  1. Remember, your SaaS churn rate is your company’s problem, not your customer’s.
  2. Ensure everyone with your company delivers on your competitive advantage, not just the marketing and sales team.
  3. Churn is a result of your entire customer lifecycle, not just one single part of your process.
  4. Reducing churn starts the moment your user signs up.


Customer churn rate diagram about user churn, revenue churn, gross churn, and net churn


  1. Be aware of your product’s strengths, but more importantly, the weaknesses. Work to overcome them.
  2. Give customer retention and churn a place on your metrics dashboard, together with business intelligence
  3. Ensure your whole company knows which part of the retention process they are responsible for.
  4. Don’t over-promise on the benefits of your product on your website or through your comms. Ensure your prospects know how much time, effort and energy it will realistically take for them to achieve success with your product.
  5. Listen to your customers.
  6. Surprise your customers by adding unexpected value in the form of additional service, incentives, and education on the industry and your platform while keeping a focus on customer lifetime value, proactive customer service, and customer retention.
  7. Thank your customers on a regular basis.
  8. Work out what your customers can’t live without and implement immediately.
  9. Actively market to your existing customers.
  10. Analyse your Customers’ Happiness Index (CHI). Set your own criteria for your Index.


customer satisfaction score equation which is happy customers by number of customers asked

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  1. Show the value you add constantly and focus on education and becoming a dependency for your user.
  2. When you understand the actions that generate true value for your customers, establish trigger-based emails to encourage those actions. Additionally, engage your customer success team to address customer attrition and prioritize proactive customer service as you discover your retention hotspots.
  3. Provide third party endorsements for trust and credibility.
  4. Be clear and efficient in your billing.
  5. Don’t use your industry benchmark for churn as your business benchmark. Aim to reduce your levels of churn below the norm.
  6. Reflect your brand’s personality through your content, content assets and website. Inject your brand attitude and incorporate lifestyle triggers into your comms.
  7. Communicate constantly with your customers, not just when you want to sell to them.


Your Customers Churn Rate

  1. Reducing churn starts with attracting the right customers. Ensure you are clear on Ideal Client Profile and your buyer personas
  2. Conversely, ensure you know who your non-ideal customers is. This will help to prioritise your churn action plan.
  3. Define your most valuable users and put a plan in place to keep them.
  4. Understand why they are your most valuable users and aim to replicate these facets throughout your customer base.

how to do a churn calculation

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  1. Allow your users to grow with your product through customisation, configuration and personalisation.
  2. Remember that over time, your customer will evolve. Your model and product must evolve with your customers. A static product is never a successful one over the long term.
  3. Segment your customers according to your buyer personas. A one size fits all approach does not work across either your customer lifecycle or your marketing.


saas business groupings flow chart

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  1. Undertake cohort analysis to identify actionable trends.
  2. Market according to your segmented lists with compelling, personalised comms
  3. Understand how your customers procure services, especially the larger users. Tailor your process and your comms accordingly.
  4. Understand (don’t guess), what pain points your customer has and the outcome they want to achieve by using your product.
  5. Set your product apart to build and nurture customer loyalty. By actively gathering and implementing customer feedback, you can strengthen your offering and successfully retain customers who value your solution to their pain points.
  6. Make all your users feel part of your community. Create a bond with your users by encouraging them to contact you or speak with a member of your Customer Service Team.


Customer Onboarding

  1. You may have lived with your product for what seems like a lifetime, but don’t expect your customer to have the same mindset. They are coming at this afresh, so look at your onboarding process through your customers’ eyes.
  2. Make sure your contact details are easy to find.
  3. Provide a live chat facility, preferably one that’s manned 24/7


saas business onboarding duration
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  1. Decide what exactly your user needs to provide to get them started. An email-only approach, followed by instructional videos often proves popular with users.
  2. Streamline your onboarding process. Provide an explanation of the value your provide and the benefits of your product.
  3. Ensure your onboarding process is interactive and engaging. Congratulate your customer when they achieve their first successful interaction.
  4. Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many onboarding tasks at once. Confusion will set in.
  5. Go for progressive onboarding. Small, yet frequent tasks will get the the job done with a higher user experience.
  6. Consider using a visible progress indicator so customers can se how far they are into their onboarding process.
  7. Ensure your onboarding process includes ease of login. Not everyone wants to provide a user name and password. Think Twitter, Facebook or Google login.
  8. Ensure your customers ‘aha’ moment (when your prospects and cutomers realis eth value you provide) is clear to everyone in your company and communicate it frequently.
  9. Place your key members of staff on onboarding duty. It’s not a task for the intern or junior members of your team.
  10. Ensure initial interactions with your customers are wholly positive, both on your platform and through your email or in-person support.
  11. Eliminate buyer’s remorse, by ensuring your customers realise the benefit of your product as it specifically relates to them.


Signs of Churning Customers

  1. Understand the length of time it takes users to complete a task on your platform. Communicate to those who are spending an unusually long time on a page, within a session.
  2. Understand the differences, factors and metrics between your most engaged users and those who have churned.


saas customer churn rate difference
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  1. Be aware of the behavioural indicators and metrics that flag which users are likely to churn – frequency of login, length of first session, entire team drop-off.


Communications and Power Users

  1. Humanise your communications’ approach by including a picture of your customer service team member.
  2. Inject human interaction into an anonymous sales process.
  3. Wherever possible, include both text and video in your communications. Customers like to receive information in different ways.
  4. Reiterate the benefits of your product or service in your customer service and support emails. This practice is particularly crucial for SaaS companies, as they emphasize their product or service's unique value proposition.


Power Users

  1. Understand who your power users are and ask them for a referral.
  2. Ask your power users to become mentors to new customers. Provide power user case studies and record their experiences.


Reducing Churn

  1. Down-sell your customers rather than let them leave
  2. Remove self-serve account cancellation so your customers must speak with someone to cancel.


Leave on Good Terms

Understand that no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to retain every single customer.

Incisive Edge is a marketing agency specialising in the growth of startups and scaleups, driving results and ROI. 

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