It’s been just about a month since the new Xbox.com forums has launched, and for some it still might be a little tough to get your bearings around the new digs. But fear not, fellow Ambassadors, I have a few tips and tricks that should help you get your footing on the new forums.
With the new platform you can create a post from pretty much anywhere!
A discussion post is good for general chit chat on a specific topic. For example, you want to hear everyone’s thoughts on the new Gears of War game, you’d create a new post in the Gears 4 section and label it discussion. But say you’re having trouble downloading your code for Gears 4 and need to know how to troubleshoot. That’s where the support label will come in.
So for you Ambassadors looking for a place to help users, you will find a support filter at the top of every section. This makes it easy for you to find those gamers in need.
If you know what you’re looking for and want to get there in the least amount of clicks, you can use the “Search the Xbox Forums” search box. (Side note: the ability to search for specific threads/content will be coming in the future)
If you have a few forum sections that you know you’ll be visiting often you can use the “follow” button. This will add that section to your “Forums for You” list and make it easy for you to find again later. “Forums for You” will be located under the main banner on the forums home page.
If you want a more in depth look on how to navigate the forums, please check out Mister Cerb’s awesome post on the subject. Post includes lots of pictures!
YES! It’s been a request for a long time and image posting is finally here on the new forums. So be sure to make use of that ability with your helpees. Never underestimate the power of a good visual aid. Just be sure all images are E (for everyone) rated and within a reasonable size.
Every post will have a report button at the bottom. Simply click the button and the mods will take care of the rest. The ability to type in the reason you are reporting a post will be something that is coming in the future. In the meantime, feel free to hit up any of the mods or the forum staff if you feel like you might need to explain something further.
Forum PMs have now been integrated with the Xbox Live messaging system. When you click the “Message” button on someone’s post/thread, the message you send will go right to their XBL message inbox.
Like on the old platform, Ambassadors receiving upvotes on posts they’ve made will unlock 25 XP, and any post in a Support section that gets “Verified” will count for 75 XP. Remember that Official Support agents, forum moderators, and Alpha Ambassadors all have the ability to verify a post along with the original poster.
Clear and accurate information is the baseline for a good forum post. Whether you take a few paragraphs to get your instructions across or a few sentences. Both can be considered good posts as long as the information is correct.
Don’t be afraid to use links in your support posts to show the user where you got your information. Or if the solution to their problem might take a page rather than a few paragraphs, a link might be less overwhelming.
Remember that users might be coming to the forums with a fair bit of frustration. But just like with the support chats, do your best to make the helpee feel like you understand where they are coming from. A little empathy can go a long way when defusing an upset user.
Give bad info: This one is obvious. Be sure that the information you’re giving is accurate. Your safest bet will always be to link/provide material directly from an Xbox support page.
Berate/insult the helpee: Another obvious one but a little trickier at times. Many helpees are coming to the forums in frustration. They might use profanity or start hurling insults. In these situations, be sure to report the post rather than retaliate. Not everyone is going to be satisfied with some of the answers we give, even if it’s the right one. It’s also important to avoid making the user feel like their question was silly. Ambassadors exist to help with all questions no matter how simple.
Repeat info: If another Ambassador has already responded to a support question with the correct information, reiterating the same info isn’t going to help out much. If you have another solution for the helpee to try or additional info to add to the previous post, go for it. Respect your fellow Ambassadors if they beat you to the punch.
Resurrect an old thread: Be sure to watch the date on the original thread post. I think it’s safe to say that the OP of a thread made a year ago might not be coming back.
Forum moderators and Xbox Forum Support peeps have answers! You can find a list of the whole crew at the bottom of the Forum Guidelines.
bowski477 is an Alpha Ambassador who’s been with the Program since 2010 and served as an Xbox Forums Moderator since 2013. When she’s not busying helping out other Xbox fans in the Forums, you’ll find her co-leading the US division of Xbox Playdates on Tuesday and Saturday nights. She enjoys a variety of games, naming Fallout, Skyrim and Bioshock as some of her favorites. Oh, and if you couldn’t tell from the cat photo included in her guest post above, bowski also thinks cats are pretty fantastic.