Back in August of 1995 I ordered my first book from Amazon.com. After placing my order I sent the following email to their customer support people:
Hi there. I seem to have sucessfully ordered a book from you folks and I see by the order screen that it has been shipped. One comment, though: it would be neat if you could display the times/dates along the various stages that happen to the order digitally, like: 08/08/95 12:56 Dave viewed your order and found the book 08/08/95 13:06 Sandy packed and shipped your book via USPS 08/09/95 12:00 Dave billed your Mastercard for the book …etc. Thanks for a wonderful service. -Peter
Later the same day, I received the following reply:
Peter, We've received several good suggestions from customers, but I think this is a particularly good one. We already have one project under way which will give a bit more detail on the "Your Account" screen about the status of an order, but something more like the log file you suggest below would, it seems to me, be an excellent addition. Thanks for taking the time give us this suggestion. Feedback from customers makes it much easier for us as we go about the task of prioritizing which improvements we should make next. Thanks, Jeff Bezos Amazon.com Books
In the grander scheme of things, this is like getting a personal note from Henry Ford after ordering a Model T. I found this correspondence in an archive of my email outbox from 1994 to 1996. I’m glad I kept it.