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Tips from Alpha Ambassadors: Forums

The forums held on answers.microsoft.com is a great location for any Xbox user to come and ask anything they wish; whether that be a support question about their console or a discussion thread around what childhood game was their absolute favorite.

As an Xbox Ambassador, forums are more of a long-form venue where we can offer multiple troubleshooting steps to get someone back on track. Feedback from Xbox users can take a little longer, but more people have the chance to see and try your suggestions. A great forum post helps more than just the original poster (OP)! It’s a great way to reach more Xbox users and contribute to a living archive of working fixes. Plus, it’s another great avenue to unlock XP as an Xbox Ambassador.

But before we dive in, let’s go over what makes a great forum post.

Empathy

Xbox users often come to the forums frustrated. As an Ambassador, it’s nice when you can show and understand where they’re coming from and why the steps you offer will help them. It’s a great opportunity to coach them through the topic without making them feel talked down to—always offer a solution or a friendly pat on the shoulder. This can be done by assuring the OP you want to help and then finding the solution that they may need! It only takes a few extra words to be polite and that can make a world of difference when someone is feeling frustrated.

Details and explanation

Folks who come to the forums are looking for answers within the forum. Offering steps to try directly in your post will reduce the clicks they go through to get answers, and therefore reduce time away from their forum post where you’re offering help. Don’t just tell them to submit a player review—they might not know how. Walk them through the steps to get to that menu option! You don’t have to write a full wiki entry explaining everything, but it’s better to offer too much detail than not enough.

Links

They’re GREAT. If you’re telling an Xbox user to clear their cache and download their profile, use rich text formatting tools within answers.microsoft.com to include links in your posts. The Xbox user you’re connecting with might already know how to clear their cache, but others reading your post might not. Again, it never hurts to provide more details and tools to the user and to the community.

Unlocking Ambassador XP

Unlocking XP on the forums is easy! Simply reply to a discussion or support post. If your post is marked as the answer by the OP or a forum mod, you’ll unlock a little extra XP. You can also unlock XP for creating discussion posts. So, get involved and chat about your favorite gaming topics!

What not to do—best practices

Copying/repeating

If another Ambassador beat you to the punch with some great help, offering the same steps does not help the OP. In fact, if an OP comes back to a thread full of repeated answers, they can become even more frustrated. If you have new information to add to what the previous Ambassador might have left out, by all means jump in to add it, but repeating the same information will be viewed as low-effort posts and could be subject to action from the forum mods.

Resurrecting an old thread

Check the date on the latest post. If the thread has seen no activity in weeks, the OP probably isn’t coming back.

Berating and/or insulting

Informing the Xbox user they should know better is not a great experience—even if it’s users looking to appeal a ban or suspension. Offer them a way out of their situation without making them feel like they did something wrong or insulted for coming to the forums for help.

Irrelevant information

If you’d like to add to the discussion with great information, be sure you can back it up! Is someone asking about Xbox One? Find an official source. Remember, links are awesome.

Reporting on the forums

Every thread on the forum has a “Report Abuse” button located in a drop down under the post. If you see something on the forums that breaks the Xbox Forum Guidelines, please use the report function to flag it. These reports help the forum mods keep the forums clean.

We’re here to help

Do you still have some questions about forums? Your friendly forum mods are here to help! Scrtch, maxen, and bowski477 are not only Alpha Ambassadors, but are seasoned forum mods. If you’ve got forum questions, we have the answers.

The Alpha Ambassadors can be found in the Lounge and are always willing and able to connect with fellow Ambassadors and are great coaches. When in doubt, ask an Alpha!

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