Can you have a successful customer support community built solely on volunteering? That’s the hypothesis Microsoft seems to be testing with its recent decisions for Xbox customer support.
Xbox Ambassadors are Xbox users who volunteer to help other users with their gaming issues. A news source recently reported that Microsoft has laid off twelve of its contracted Xbox customer support staff and is replacing them with these volunteers, supposedly in a cost-cutting measure. Two of the staff said they had recently finished training a group of Xbox Ambassadors who will now be their replacements.
Although Microsoft retained a couple support staff, they seem to be leaning the bulk of their Xbox customer support on these volunteers.