Alexa skill retention

Learn how to make a sticky Alexa skill that keeps people coming back.

What is retention? Retention is when customers keep coming back to your skill, day after day, week after week. This customer retention is often called building a 'sticky' product.

When we were building our Alexa skill 'Storyflow' at Voiceflow (tricky naming right?) - we measured retention by Week 1, and Week 4. This meant that we were tracking to see how many users stuck around after one week, and after four weeks. You can track these metrics with your own Alexa skills too with the Voiceflow analytics dashboard.

Four tricks to increase Alexa skill retention

1. Make an existing user routine better with your Alexa skill

For our children's stories skill 'Storyflow' we focused our efforts on the routine of bedtime stories. This made it easy for users to slot us into their nightly routine which was already established before they started using Storyflow. So, when users heard about our skill they already had an existing routine which made that routine better. Finding an existing routine and making it better with your Alexa skill is an awesome way to keep users coming back.

2. Surprise your users with something different every time they use your skill ā€‹Users want to be surprised with something different, yet familiar. We achieved this with Storyflow by always constantly updating our stories by adding new flows into our existing Alexa skill. This allowed us to keep things fresh, and keep users coming back. You can achieve a similar result by using Random Blocks within your flows. By using the random block, you can send the user down different paths each time they play your Alexa skill, meaning it feels different & fresh to them every time.

3. Send the user personalized emails about your service ā€‹Another effective strategy we found was sending user's helpful, and valuable information about our story-telling service. As an example, we asked our users if they would like to be sent emails with our full list of 15-stories. Not only did this allow our users to view all of our content, but it enabled us to be in their inbox and present in the user's mind the next time they were thinking about using an Alexa skill.

4. Make your Alexa skill more like a game, even if it's not a game ā€‹People love winning and earning rewards. We found in Storyflow that rewarding users whom completed certain actions with in-skill rewards like secret stories was an awesome way to keep people engaged. In your Alexa skill, use the variables system in order to track user actions and reward them when they hit certain milestones. You'll find users value your rewards system, and will keep coming back to earn more.

Hopefully with these 4 tricks, you can build stickier Alexa skills that customers love - week after week.