That's a traditional problem with electroplating. Copper, nickel and few more are easy to deposit, but adherence is always difficult. It's not so much a matter of durability, rather of adherence force.
Achieving adherence needs very long experimentation, and only very few recipes work. Which means: don't re-develop that by yourself, stick to known processes. I mean, stick for real. And if you must guarantee a result to a customer for years, better let a contractor make the plating. It's like joints, bearings or gears: specialized companies do only that because it's long to learn.
The process includes:
- Preparation of the surfaces!
- Bath temperature
- Bath composition
- Current density
A smooth film would be one serious difficulty more. Besides the already mentioned parameters, it often involves pulsed current.