I was very impressed recently with the customer service I received from ResultsWare, the vendor of Taskline, and I want to share the story.

A week or so ago, I was reading some blog, I can't remember which, but someone mentioned an application called Taskline. It's a task scheduler for Microsoft Outlook and, as a power user of Outlook, it sounded fantastic, so I went to their site and downloaded the trial version. Unfortunately, I had problems during the installation. An error box popped up Microsoft Office style and said (I'm paraphrasing here) “hey, there's a problem, please let us know by sending a report”. Which I did. No big deal.

A few hours later I get an email from Charles Sinclair from ResultsWare Limited that started off with “Thank you for sending us this error report and I apologise for any inconvenience caused.”.  Charles then went on to say they had seen the same error reported by another user and suggested some workarounds. Unfortunately, these didn't work. However, each time Charles sent me a prompt reply and he started each email by apologizing profusely that I was experiencing these problems and thanking me for sending the error reports and for not giving up on the product.

And then a strange thing started to happen to me. Something that hasn't happened in a long time. I started to feel useful. I started to feel appreciated. I didn't feel like a dumb user. I felt VALUED. I felt like Charles cared about my user experience. I have to tell you - that felt good. That made me want to work with Charles until we fixed the problem. And it made me want to blog about the experience. I know I don't have Scoble's readership, but here's a little free PR for Taskline.

It took Charles and I several days to resolve the issue and, guess what? It turned out to be a corruption in my Tasks folder. A while ago I had stupidly tried to drag and drop a few emails from my inbox into my tasks folder while working on OWA. And the emails got stuck somewhere in the Tasks folder where I couldn't see them and couldn't delete them. Charles eventually provided me with a small application which deleted these bad tasks and BINGO - Taskline works fine. Fantastic even.

So... I don't know what the moral of the story is, but I do know this: Charles is a great customer support guy. And Taskline is a great application once you get it running. I'm telling everyone I know about it. It basically takes your tasks and inserts them intelligently into your calendar based (I assume) on a rules engine that looks at the due date, priority, etc. A Taskline button sits on your Outlook toolbar and, each time you press it, it takes 30 seconds to re-schedule all of your outstanding tasks in your calendar, fitting them into any free slots you have. I highly recommend you try it.

And thanks again Charles. Well done. Keep it up.

UPDATE: Robert McLaws reminded me it was his blog that I first read about Taskline. Thanks Robert!