Online while in the woods! Fiction, future or reality?

By: Lisa Schmeckpeper

Staying "available" and "in contact" with your clients is an
important part of good Customer Service. But sometimes this
can be hard to do as we juggle our personal lives along with
our business obligations. Being a Webmistress is nearly a
24-hour-a-day job for me, just about the same as being a
parent, except that on the Web, you aren’t expected to fix
lunches. My clients sometimes need close attention and
nurturing during the development of their projects, some
need constant attention, and they all need (and deserve) my
immediate and total attention if and when something goes

Let me ask you this....

Have you ever wished you could be at the park with the rest
of your family on a nice Saturday afternoon if only you
didn't have to wait in the office for that important email
to arrive? I have, and I didn’t enjoy it one bit.

Have you put off going on a day trip or even a full vacation
because you can't leave your computer and your
self-obligated contact with your clients that long? I have,
and I didn’t like that, either.

Have you ever tried logging on to the Net while you were
deep in the woods? I have, and now I’m not quite so chained
to my home-office computer, thanks to my Sprint PCS Wireless
Web Phone & Connectivity Kit :-)

This is a VERY neat piece of technology, people, and somehow
Sprint has made it really easy to use. In fact, I'd label it
as almost "dummy proof." (And I can almost hear my
newsletter’s proofreader squealing with delight, almost
2,000 miles away.) I had myself set up and surfing within 10
minutes of opening the box. And most of that time was spent
installing the software on my laptop. The actual process of
getting online is as simple as connecting a cable from your
laptop to your phone and logging on as usual.

Honestly, that's all there is to it! I didn't even have to
mess with my dialup settings because the PCS Dialer software
that came with it made "mirror" connection settings for me.
All I had to do was select from a drop-down box on the
computer screen which modem I wanted to use. So now, instead
of choosing MSN as I normally would have done, I chose MSN

Within seconds I was connected and surfing.

The ability to be almost anywhere--beach, mountain, forest
or street cafe, and ALSO be "on the Net" brings about a new
feeling of personal freedom (even with your laptop in your
backpack). You don't have to be chained to your PC in order
to provide first-class, immediate service to your customers.
After years of conscientiously putting clients’ needs first,
a burnout is almost to be expected, isn't it? Perhaps you're
feeling the same thing--burnt out.

Just think how you are going to feel in a few more months
when summer is in full swing and everyone else is having fun
and you're still sitting there staring at your computer
screen, working, or--more depressing--waiting needlessly for
an email to arrive through those land-loving phone lines.

There was actually another good reason--besides giving me
more personal freedom and still offering good customer
service--for purchasing the Web Connectivity Kit for my PCS
phone. There are times when I am visiting a client (or
potential client) at their place of business and I'd like to
show them something on the Net. I don't like to have to ask
them if there is a phone line available that I can use. Most
often there isn’t, or it would become a big hassle to make a
phone line available. Any good businessperson knows that
causing a "hassle" for a potential client is a sure way to
make a bad impression, and just one bad impression tends to
last a lot longer than most good impressions.

With my Web phone I can connect myself quickly and without
bothering my client. And my ability to connect so quickly
and easily makes a VERY good impression on even the most
reluctant potential client! After I'm done they all want to
know how I "did that"! I had one client take a sour look at
his own cellular phone and toss it across his desk. "Another
18 months on that contract but I don't care. I'm getting one
of these," he said as he admired my Sprint PCS setup.

There must be dozens of circumstances where almost anyone
doing business on the Net could benefit from a Sprint PCS
phone and Web Connectivity Kit. Some I've mentioned here
from my own experience, and other circumstances may be
unique to your own business or situation. Whether you have
been thinking of getting a wireless connection for some time
or you are just learning that it’s possible today, don't let
a fear of the technology stop you. As I've said before, this
is almost "dummy proof" to set up, and connecting to the Net
is really as simple as anything you may be using currently.

The cost involved isn't that bad either, unless you don't
already have a laptop. I can't imagine lugging that faithful
old Gateway CPU and 21-inch monitor off to the park.
Besides, where would your desktop power plug go, unless you
have a 16-mile-long extension cord. No, a laptop is pretty
much a requirement, to use this neat new technology while
you also enjoy fresh air and life outside the cubicle.

In addition to the laptop, all you will need is a Sprint PCS
Wireless Web phone and the Connectivity Kit. No, a regular
PCS phone or a PrimeCo phone won't work. The phone HAS to be
a Sprint "Web ready" phone in order to be able to receive

I spent about $175 on my phone and the Web Connectivity kit
was just $99. The kit includes the cable you need to connect
your phone to your laptop, a setup manual, a CD with the
software you need, and a cable adapter for connecting
handheld and palm-sized computers.

On the Sprint site there is a four-step tour that explains
just how easy it is to set up and use. Have a look around
and see for yourself. Just click on the Wireless data link
and take the tour:

So if you're like me and want a little freedom this summer,
without abandoning your clients, or you'd just like to make
your job a little easier, indoors or out, I definitely
recommend getting connected with a Wireless Web phone. I
haven't regretted it for a minuteHealth Fitness Articles, and I may even have to
apply a little sun screen lotion while I’m working with my
clients this summer!

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