Laundry Service was growing and growing fast. Going from 100 to 300 employees within a year, the social media agency needed an internal wiki that could scale with their growth. While sharing folders, documents, and files within Dropbox, Google Docs, and Slack worked initially, this new stage of company growth called for a solution built to create, organize, and distribute knowledge efficiently to their team. That meant finding a wiki that lived where their team primarily worked: Slack.
As Chief Innovation Officer at Laundry Service, Ross Sheingold's job is to ensure their agency is utilizing technology to its fullest potential, both internally within their organization and externally to their clients. With their team's growth, a key challenge that emerged was each of their internal teams had their own way of storing information and there was no one place that unified it all. While it was manageable in the early days, as they grew to 300, subject matter experts were increasingly fielding more and more questions in Slack.
While Laundry Service was an early adopter of Slack, Ross knew a messaging app would not be a sustainable solution for finding and communicating knowledge efficiently as they scaled.
"We would have new hires scrolling through Slack in order to get up to speed on our internal processes and documentation, but that's not effective nor what Slack is designed to do."
Victoria Roedel, a social media strategist at Laundry Service faced a similar realization when it came to accessing and sharing knowledge in Slack. The most common way knowledge was distributed was through private group messages or public channel messages in Slack, and email threads. Yet once that knowledge was shared, there was no means to capture it for reuse later. The key problem was the amount of repetitive questions and requests for documents that were being asked.
Conversations in Slack move fast, so once knowledge was shared it would quickly be out of sight, out of mind. With the variety of group chats, Slack channels, and email threads to search through, team members would default back to asking the group for information as it was the easiest solution for them.
In simple terms Ross stated that "we needed to solve the problem of 'we don't have any place to search for this'." Yet, as a social media agency that places an importance on user experience, Ross knew that he needed a knowledge management solution that was user friendly and "everywhere" meaning that his team could access and search for knowledge where his team lived most: their browser and Slack.
After rolling out Guru to the entire Laundry Service organization, Ross immediately noticed a drop-off in people asking the same questions and an uptick in people saying they "Guru'ed" it instead. Victoria recalled a similar situation and said: "I remember I was recently on a client call and they wanted really specific information around image resolutions for a specific type of carousel ad. I didn't know it off the top of my head, but I Guru'ed it quickly on a call and found exactly what I needed." Instead of having to ask a question that may have already been answered in Slack, she was able to address the client's question while on the call and not in a follow-up email afterwards.
With Guru now implemented, Victoria believes the way Laundry Service shares and finds knowledge helps to provide an even better client experience because she's more confident in her interactions as knowledge is only a few keystrokes away. Finding information is as simple as using the Guru slash command to search for what she is looking for.
Ross noted that Guru is especially integral to their onboarding strategy for new hires that join the agency.
"Onboarding new hires is one of the main pain points Guru solves. If your documentation is printed out in a folder, how can you search that? Guru is our internal google."
For new team members especially, the challenge is not only with the pure volume of information to digest, but also the difficulty in knowing who the subject matter experts are in the organization and what topics they are experts in. Even for a veteran of the team like Victoria, the value of Guru lies in its ability to help her learn.
"If I'm not sure how to do something, need more of a definition, or need presentations, I can easily search within Guru for what I need."
Social Media Strategist
Laundry Service stores a wide variety of knowledge in Guru, everything from case studies and best practices, to HR policies, and trends reporting. But what Ross loves about Guru is whenever information is added to Guru it gets pushed to a channel in Slack so all team members know what exists within their knowledge base.
An example of this was when Instagram introduced their Stories feature. Ross was able to create Cards with links to case studies they made around the new feature which was instantly pushed into relevant channels for their account management team to leverage and share with clients.
Working in social media, trends come and go and knowledge changes everyday. With Guru's slackbot, Ross is able to ensure all the knowledge his team needs to leverage on a day-to-day stays up-to-date.
"One of my favorite features of the Guru bot that I love is how it proactively notifies me when content is going stale."
When asking Victoria to quantify how much time she's saving using Guru here's what she had to say:
"It saves me up to 6 to 12 to 24 hours depending on how long the person would take to get back to me."
Social Media Strategist
You can imagine how these time savings would compound across all 300 members of Laundry Service. Guru empowers their team to find information on their own instead of having to wait for a response.
Guru has made a significant impact on Laundry Service during its rapid growth phase. Adopting the solution has helped to unify all of the different teams across the company by encouraging information sharing and transparency.