Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed within this post belong to the guest writer, who is a member of the Xbox Ambassadors community, and are not necessarily representative of Xbox or the Program.
I’ve been an avid gamer for almost 30 years now. I started out on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, moved up through to the Spectrum +3, Commodore 64, Atari STE All the Sega Systems, PlayStation then jumped to Xbox when I saw Halo in the display at my local Virgin Megastore. Since then, I have primarily been an Xbox Gamer with the occasional foray into PC gaming. The one thing I do miss from the Spectrum and PlayStation days is the light gun games; I am hoping that they will make a return someday.
Well, a few years ago, my wife became too ill to work, shortly after that, I also had to give up work to care for her. Not to long after giving up work, I found myself slowly falling into a bit of a depression. I had also recently moved quite far from home and hadn’t really made too many friends in my new town. Then, I came across the Xbox Ambassadors Program.
My prior work involved customer service around insurance, and I’ve always been the go-to guy for friends and family on everything techy. So, the Ambassadors Program seemed a perfect fit. I’ve been an Ambassador for just coming up to 4 years.
Though I haven’t been “full-time”, I try to get as much “Ambassador-ing” in as I can. Because I’m pretty house-bound due to my caring role, the Xbox Ambassadors Program gives me a nice link to the outside world where I feel I can help others. It can be a nice pick-me-up at times, being able to log-on and help when I can, rather than having to clock in and out at specific times. I mostly log on when I’m having trouble sleeping but still a bit too tired to switch on the Xbox. Anywhere from half an hour to two hours, three or four times a week.
When I do take on the role as helper, I mostly use the Ambassabank, occasionally helping out in the forums, too. The recent addition of Ambassadors on Twitter I quite enjoy also as I can easily do that whenever I’m mobile.
The great thing about the Xbox Ambassadors Program is that you have options. The Forums aren’t so time sensitive so you can offer some advice, then come back in a few hours or the next day to see if there is a reply. The Ambassabank is more hands-on in which you’re in a web chat, and Twitter lies somewhere in the middle.
Being an Ambassador isn’t about being an encyclopaedia of everything Xbox, though. It’s more about being resourceful enough to find the right answer, either through the support articles on Support.Xbox.com, or in the Forums, and translate that information into something the person needing help can understand.
Eighty-percent of the questions I take require a little on-the-fly research, and depending on the how confident the helpee is, either linking them to the correct instructions or guiding them through the steps in chat.
Just remember: Some people don’t have the time or the necessary searching experience to find the solution for themselves, even though the solutions for 99% of the issues you’ll come across as an Ambassador can be found quite quickly if you know what to look for.
If you’re really struggling with something, there is always the Lounge where other Ambassadors hang out and are on hand to aid you if you need it.
The thing about the Xbox Ambassador Program is you can go in knowing very little really about the ins-and-outs of Xbox, then as you see questions come through, you can go and have a look for a solution, so that next time you see that question, you’ll have an answer. (Some people, though, are just looking for help with a particular mission or challenge in a particular game, and you might be the one that knows how to do that!)
I’ve learned a fair amount through the Xbox Ambassadors Program. For instance: how to reset the video output on an Xbox 360, how to get a disc out of a broken console, and other tips and tricks to get the most out of an Xbox console.
The perks are pretty cool, too. I’m loving the socks and the scarf that we got in the last two seasons. They aren’t hard to get either. You can easily get to the Elite Tier with just a couple of chats a day while opting into the relevant Missions.
All in all, the Xbox Ambassadors Program has helped me get through the last few years by filling a gap left after having to leave work. The enthusiasm that the other Ambassadors and I share around everything Xbox (and Windows 10) is great.
It’s a great community where everyone seems to be on the same wavelength, and everyone gets along really well. I can’t say that I’ve ever come across a friendlier and more welcoming online community.
SN1P3R SK33T – whose name is a reference to the ’90s cartoon Doug character Skeeter – has been an Xbox Ambassador since February 2013, during which he has found a home with the Xbox Live community and fellow Ambassadors, helping across all Ambassador platforms in the free time not spent caring for his wife, cooking and gaming. Check out more about SN1PER SK33T’s allegiance to the Xbox Ambassadors Program from his community profile, and catch them online. They’re always up for a good game.