Today, we answer on our blog THE WORLD’S MOST DIFFICULT QUESTION. Well, if you’re new to cloth diapering, this (and laundry how-to’s) is likely the biggest question troubling you today.
The conversation that sparked the need for God Forbid Guarantee
The following is an exchange that took place between a Lil Helper cloth diaper customer and me, let’s call her K., in February 2015.
K. is a loyal Lil Helper customer and I distinctly remember packing her orders and communicating with her on a number of occasions.
I came across K’s post when she was trying to sell her Lil Helper cloth diapers on a Lil Helper Buy/Sell/Trade forum on Facebook.
Here are screenshots of that exchange:
What kind of a company do we want Lil Helper to be?
When I had this conversation with K., I had no intention of posting it anywhere. But the thought kept bugging me for weeks that there might be other customers of ours who are probably in the same unfortunate position as K.
And since we didn’t have an explicit policy in place wherein customers can get in touch with us in the case of a tragedy, we might be inadvertently causing already grieving parents to relive their loss by selling their diapers.
Even my wife and I had lost a child early on in our pregnancy so I know the pain to a certain extent and wouldn’t wish it upon anybody.
Doubts on Reddit about Lil Helper Cloth Diapers…
A couple of weeks after the above took place, we started posting on Reddit to introduce Lil Helper to new customers.
A prospective customer commented that she had doubts about our diapers and company. In order to explain to her why Lil Helper was different, I uploaded the above screenshots to Imgur.
As an aside: I had made my account on Reddit weeks before posting for the first time and had just made an account on Imgur to post the screenshots there. I had no idea how either of the places worked.
Here’s the exchange on Reddit:
Why we posted the conversation with K. publicly
The purpose of posting the screenshots was to give a recent example of how we treat our customers. The screenshots were only meant for the Mama and nobody else. I named the image gallery God Forbid Guarantee as I couldn’t think of a better way to address such a sensitive topic before prefacing it with god forbid.
Lil Helper Cloth Diapers going viral
Little did I know that the screenshots would be voted on to the front page of Imgur, and it eventually garnered more than 550K views and spread across the Internet. We were learning what it means to go viral.
How Lil Helper operates when nobody is watching
Now, this isn’t the first time that we have gone out of our way to treat a customer right.
Nader, the mad-scientist-half of Lil Helper, drove in the Canadian winter for 2 hours, one-way, to deliver a $90 order to a customer because her original order was at the Post Office and she had an early morning flight.
I have delivered diapers at 1 am because a customer had a baby with a diaper rash as bad as second-degree burns and the whole family hadn’t slept in days. I could hear the baby wailing as the mom inquired if our charcoal diapers would help her baby. Based on my experience and feedback from customers, I knew for a fact that our charcoal diapers would help the baby sleep and allow the stressed mother to relax, so I went and delivered the diapers in the middle of the night.
As you might already know, each and every order, no matter how small or big leaves our premises with a hand-written thank you card from yours truly as a means of showing that we truly appreciate the business that good folks like you give us and not for a moment do we take it for granted.
Everybody who works for Lil Helper would have done exactly the same thing or more had they been in my place. Yes, but this was the first time more than 2 people knew of our ethos as a company, something that we’ve had from the start.
Update on K.
The good news is that K., our loyal Lil Helper mama, was blessed with a beautiful baby boy soon after the post went viral. And when she ordered more diapers from us, I had the pleasure of telling her that her money was no good at Lil Helper. She was as touched by our small gesture as much we were by her courage to allow us to share her story and help other families who might, god forbid, find themselves in a similar situation.
All’s well that ends well.
Share your thoughts
If you have anything to say about this policy or ways in which we can improve how we run Lil Helper, I would love to know your thoughts.
You can leave a comment here, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on my cell at 647 885 4642.
If you are in the US and would like to try our diapers, you can go here: www.lilhelperdiapers.com
If you are in CANADA, please go here: www.lilhelper.ca
Why we call it [lil helper]2?
Because our ambassadors are Lil Helper’s lil helpers. Lil Helper Squared.
The Lil Helper Cloth Diapers Ambassador Program is for users who are active in the Lil Helper community.
They are involved in social media discussions, believe in our products and our philosophy.
Our ambassadors will be selected from current Lil Helper patrons who are using our product or who have used our products. These evangelists are already spreading the good news about our company. We are making it easier (and more fun) for them to share their enthusiasm about Lil Helper.
They are the ones who are moving our business forward by introducing their friends and family to Lil Helper and our products. They spread the good news about us through the most trusted and valued source of marketing – word of mouth.
Perks of being a Lil Helper Ambassador, you ask?
Exclusive Lil Helper coupon codes given to lil helpers that they can share with their friends and family.
Each time their unique coupon code is used, Ambassadors get rewarded
All participants will have first look at new prints/designs/products. The ambassador club members will be able to vote between colour combinations, prints, and solid colours. They will then have first access to these new products.
Free Tester products will be distributed to eligible members for trial and feedback before the introduction of a new product.
Access to the super secret private slack channel exclusively for the Lil Helper Cloth Diapers Ambassador Program
How do Ambassadors get rewarded?
When an Ambassador’s coupon code is used to purchase Lil Helper products and the value of the transaction is $79+, Ambassadors can choose between two options for their reward:
1. They can donate 5% of sales towards a charity of their choice
2. They can choose to receive 5% of sales cash, paid via PayPal
We do encourage Ambassadors to donate to charity, it’s just good karma for everyone ✌️
Why only 5% of the sales brought in by ambassadors are given to charity, why not 10% or 15%?
You might think that we at Lil Helper are business strategists who actually know what we are doing — we are not.
As with everything, we do what we think is right and at any point of time. If and when we realize or are told that there is a better way to do things, we will adapt and change.
Our Baby Do Good and the way we do customer service, have all been born out of — That sounds cool, we should try it out.
The decision to divert 5% of sales to an ambassadors charity of choice is no different.
This is what we know for sure — we make kick-ass cloth diapers AKA poop catchers. For any flaws that are in the products themselves, we make up for it by providing bend-over-backwards amazing customer service.
Who is not eligible to join the Lil Helper Cloth Diapers Ambassador Program?
If you have never used a Lil Helper cloth diaper or any other product, then sadly you are not eligible to be an ambassador of our brand. We want each and every recommendation you make come from you as a way to help those around you discover a product that you love yourself and know that they will too. This premise would be compromised if you haven’t used the product yourself.
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below and let us know if we are moving in the right direction or if we need to change course.
And if you think you’d like to join the Lil Helper Cloth Diapers Ambassador Program yourself, please click on the link below.
Other titles that were considered for this post:
Why it took us more than 2 years to design a cloth diaper?
Why our seamstress thought we were crazy?
Going through stacks of documents to find a long lost receipt for tax purposes I came across this drawing of one of our initial cloth diaper designs.
I hadn’t seen this drawing in more than two years; all soft copies were lost with Nader’s crashed hard drive.
This drawing in essence summarizes the entire philosophy behind Lil Helper Cloth Diapers. We make mistakes, we learn from them, we make different mistakes and we try to have a sense of humor while going through the ordeal.
Sophia, my wife, thinks Nader & I run this business as if we are running an uncontrolled science experiment. She doesn’t realize that there is method to the madness. Well, maybe not. The rest of this post will try and make sense of how we go about getting our cloth diapers to market.
Step1: Find a problem and research the crap out of it.
When we first decided to design a diaper we spent countless hours meticulously studying each and every top-selling cloth diaper in the market. We prepared a list of things we like and features that were missing.
Our biggest hope is to contribute positively in the lives of our end users. Our utmost concern is to harm no one. Whenever we deem something not worth pursuing, be it a cloth diaper design or a certain component of it, we lay it to rest.
Actually all bad ideas are blamed on each other and the lack of sleep, causing impaired judgment. The only casualty at this stage of the process is our battered ego. We’ve taken an oath of secrecy that the most ridiculous ideas cannot be shared with anyone.
Step 2: Getting it down on paper
We usually over-think and over-design all of our products. When we were designing our cloth diaper we made the mistake of doing it on SolidWorks, a software that is usually used for contriving complicated mechanical structures and devices. Our caffeine induced brains went on a nerdy trip and we put features on it most robots would not be able to make.
I kid you not, Nader wanted to have a sensor on our diapers that would ring an alarm after a certain amount of moisture saturation. I considered it for a passing moment before realizing we cannot even find a reliable supplier of Velcro. Nader doesn’t take rejection well, so I had to tell him that we can add this feature to a future design iteration.
Step 3: Making a physical sample
The next step is to get a few samples made from one our many seamstresses. This is also the point where women who are as old as our grandmothers usually mock us for our CAD generated drawings.
Most seamstresses shook their head when they looked at our designs, giving us a look of disgust mixed with a sprinkling of amazement. The puzzled expression on one seamstress’s face almost spelled out, ‘Why would you make such a detailed drawing of a cloth diaper? And how much time do you have on your hands?’
We had to go back and simplify the things that a sewing machine could not do and come back for another round of shaming.
One of the seamstresses jokingly said that she would think twice about flying in planes after finding out that both Nader and I, design flying machines at our daytime jobs.
We’ve quit designs and prototypes at this point of the process many times.
Apart from a bruised ego, we’ve also lost valuable time and money. So now you know why I drive a beat-up Hyundai Elantra.
Step 4: Cost of Materials?
Whenever a design passes our acid test and is realized into an actual product, we go ahead to procure materials that are safe, sustainable and readily available. We price it out and get our material cost.
We have detailed costs of everything. We had priced out things like the cost of elastic that would be used for the cloth diaper. For the curious, when the diaper was made in Canada, the elastic cost 11 cents.
Step 5: Get feedback
Then we go about finding moms who will use our cloth diapers. We like to get feedback on how the diapers fit and if they perform as well as we think they should. We also ask moms if they use it in a way we intend for them to be used.
We try and address the biggest and most persistent complaints by making changes to our design.
- Step 6: Getting it manufactured
This process is not as simple as it sounds. Read our post about how we went about manufacturing our last batch of cloth diapers here.
Even after doing due diligence, we come across a bunch of problems that we compensate by providing excellent customer service to our patrons.
And all this, came to my mind because of the lone sheet of drawing that I found yesterday.
- What do you think?
Please leave us a comment and tell us what you like or dislike about our process? Also tell us if you’d like us to share any aspect of our business that might currently be a mystery to you.