Did you know that increasing retention by just 5% could increase your profits from 25% to 95%?

That’s music to any SaaS practitioner’s ears.

Retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones and goes a long way in building meaningful customer relationships that pay off in ways that benefit your brand, reputation, and bottom line.

If you’re thinking of putting a strategy in place or updating an existing one,, here are 20 top retention tips from the best customer success pros in the business, focusing specifically on:

Be proactive

“Conduct a pre-mortem on your most important and most typical users to see if there is more  you can be doing for them and the rest of your users.” - Josh Rosenthal, Director of SaaS Success at Aqua Security
“Build out a customer success plan for each client.” - Vic Kasoff, Director of Customer Experience at Healthcare Bluebook (Quantros)
“Start the renewal process early. Approaching a customer one month before the renewal date doesn't give you much of an opportunity to change the experience, and by this point, unfulfilled customers will already have reviewed additional services. Running early bird incentives for early commitment to renewal is a great way to avoid cold feet and unnecessary time on negotiation closer to the date.” - Craig Jackson, Head of Customer Success at Accountancy Cloud

“Be proactive about reaching out to customers and give your company a human face to engage with.” - Carolyn Breit, Director of Customer Success at Rightsline, Inc.
“Gain feedback often, make plans with the customer on how you both will succeed, and provide a clear roadmap plan on how you will reach and measure milestones together.” - Neil Bhuiyan, Managing Director/Founder of HappySelling.io
“Defining minimum viable value is critical within the first 60 days of contract life. Then, reinforcing that value over time.” - Josh Zamora, Director of Customer Success Advocacy at ServiceNow
“Alignment between Sales and CS, and a smooth onboarding, are critical to proactively set up the customer for success and improved LTV.” - Max Smith-Gee, Customer Success at Simpo

Help your customers reach their goals

“Support the customer by making sure they have identified their business goal for using the platform, and then guiding them and holding them accountable for using the platform correctly to meet their business goal.” - Patrick Kelly, Senior Director of Customer Care Enablement & Operations at Brainshark
“Know your customers! Invest in getting to know the people behind the software and the goals they are striving towards, then help them align those goals to the product if applicable. Do this across multiple stakeholders.” - Star Hofer, Vice President of Customer Success at PartnerStack
“Clearly show customers their success path, and work with them to stay the course to get value and drive future growth on both sides.” - Jonathan Fertel, Vice President of Customer Success at SiteCompli

Build relationships

“Having a personal relationship with the customer. If there are some major issues, you’ll get a heads-up before they start shopping around to be able to make things right for them.” - Jose Pria, Director of Client Success E-commerce at WineDirect
“Allow your customer to define what success on your platform looks like to them - then translate this to actions you can take to support them in their pursuit of these outcomes. If you maintain alignment with your customers on what keeps them coming back day after day and how your solution can elevate from vendor to partner status within their own walls, retention becomes a near foregone result of your efforts. The minute you begin to put your customers below the #1 slot in your priorities, you'll have retention problems to tackle.” - Kyle Bennett, Director of Customer Success, Corporate & SMB at IntelliShift
“Ensure users feel like they have someone they can go to with complaints or concerns, it's much better to have someone complain to you, so you can address their concerns, than have someone bottle up their frustrations until they are fed up and churn.” - Elise Marengo, Head of Customer Success at Userpilot
“Take some serious time looking at your onboarding experience. I've seen it time and time again, the customers that end up leaving, never really got started in the first place...they stalled early on. Front-load your customer experience so customers remain more engaged, everything after the point of sales is a momentum game, how long can you sustain that momentum? Front-loading will pay dividends for your customer (more value, sooner), and therefore your company (retention, ease of maintaining accounts).” -  Christopher Brown, Director of Customer Success at Fulcrum

Keep your finger on the pulse

Tie everything your product or service does to the things your customers are talking about in the boardroom. Then continue to demonstrate at each touchpoint how your product/service is accelerating their results. You'll know you're succeeding if they are constantly reaching out to you for more insights, advice, services, etc.” - Jeff Michaels, Vice President of Global Accounts at Mobivity
“We have to ensure customer success to earn brand loyalty. It's relational first, and then we align needs to our solutions based on what is learned, not just what we sell.” - Mike Hernandez, Head of Customer Success at Virti
“Always tie your activities to the top 2-3 customer KBOs only. No more, no less.” - Sirous Wadia, Practice Director, Customer Success at K1 Investment Management
“Understand your customer outcomes and ensure at all stages (marketing, sales, customer success) you are aligning your product to supporting these outcomes.” - Paul Duffy, Head of Customer Success at GatherContent
“Have a consistent and regular pulse on customer health. Let your customers know that you are thinking about them through constant communication and monthly tips that will help them to be successful with your tool or service.” - Samantha Czulada, Customer Success Manager at Northpass
“Proving value consistently with metrics helps to move away from perception issues.” - Tracy Wray, Director of Customer Success at KlickTrack INC

Looking for more customer retention tips and tactics? Check out the replay of the Customer Success Festival with a Future of SaaS membership plan.