Author Relations Officer: Defining Customer Service with ARO Supervisor Michael Yutan

Customer service is a critical skill in the dynamic world of modern business, where relationships and interactions matter more than ever. An Author Relations Officer (ARO) is a one-of-a-kind customer service representative taking center stage, particularly in the self-publishing industry. Today, we’re going to dig deeper into this important job in BPO.
Author Relations Officer: Defining Customer Service with Michael Yutan

Supervisor Michael Yutan joined us to discuss the job of an Author Relations Officer in relation to the tasks of a Customer Service Representative and a Sales Representative. Michael has been in the BPO industry for eight (8) years now. Two years and two months of which have been spent with eLink Systems & Concepts Corp. He will help us understand the three integral roles upon which successful customer-centric businesses are built. The three interrelated jobs play a unique part in shaping a brand’s reputation, fostering connections, and driving revenue.

What is an Author Relations Officer and what an ARO does?

“An ARO or Author Relations Officer,” according to Michael, “is a professional who works in the publishing industry, serving as a project manager and liaison between authors and internal departments.” He shared with us that the primary responsibility of an ARO is to manage and cultivate relationships with established and emerging authors. They should have published books or are seeking to publish with the company. 

Michael explains that the role of an ARO involves a combination of communication, support, and strategic planning to ensure that authors have a positive experience and that their work is delivered on time. “Choosing to be an Author Relations Officer,” uttered Michael, “is a great fit for individuals who are enthusiastic about literature, enjoy working closely with authors, and seek a role that offers a mix of creativity, effective time management, and organizational skills.”

How similar is an ARO to a Customer Service Representative?

“An ARO shares some similarities in terms of interaction with people (customers or authors), relationship building, and problem-solving,” said Michael Yutan. Similar to a Customer Service Representative (CSR), an ARO is the frontline ambassador of the company. 

In an age where customers wield immense power through reviews and word-of-mouth, exceptional customer service is non-negotiable. An ARO, like a CSR, should go beyond resolving complaints; the agent should focus more on creating memorable experiences. 

How different is an ARO from a Sales Representative?

Mr. Yutan separates an ARO from a Sales Representative through goals and relationships. He asserted that a Sales Rep aims to achieve revenue targets or goals by closing packages and converting new authors. On the other hand, an ARO focuses on helping authors navigate the publishing process, providing support, and ensuring a positive relationship between the author and the company.

When it comes to building relationships, Michael explained that an ARO often focuses on long-term relationships with authors by assisting them through various stages of their publishing and/or marketing journey. In contrast, “Sales Representatives,” he noted, “may have shorter-term interactions with clients based on the sales cycle.”

I just want to point out, though, that both the ARO and the Sales Representative should grasp the customer’s pain points and demonstrate how the service can solve them. Both representatives should also demonstrate the skill of building trust and credibility. 

Related Post: What Are the Benefits of Being a Sales Representative

How does an Author Relations Officer define customer service?

When asked how to know if a customer (or an author in his case) is satisfied with the service, ARO Supervisor Michael Yutan answered that a satisfied author is a repeat buyer. Meaning, a satisfied customer is not just a one-time transaction but someone who regularly buys products or services. Most importantly, a satisfied customer is a potential advocate for the brand or company. This is where great customer service comes in. Excellent customer service cultivates loyalty, which is the cornerstone of sustained success.

Do you believe that a customer is always right, why or why not? Michael responded by saying, “The customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer.” To elaborate on his comment, he mentioned that we should prioritize customers’ needs and desires, even when those customers might be difficult to handle or have unreasonable demands. He took it as a reminder to always treat customers respectfully and prioritize their happiness and satisfaction. “Without them,” he concluded, “the business would fail.”

What is it like to lead a team as an ARO Supervisor?

Michael Yutan was fully promoted to ARO Supervisor about a week ago, but he has been leading a team for about a year now. “Leading a team,” he reasoned out, “involves a combination of interpersonal skills, organizational abilities, and a strong sense of responsibility.”

In describing how he leads a team, he walks us into seeing himself setting clear expectations for his team, providing support and guidance, resolving conflicts, managing team performance, and making decisions. To make a team work, he shared the three elements below with us.

  1. Clear communication even in difficult conversations. This is to prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  2. Collaboration and interdependence. Each member should understand their role within the team and how their contributions fit into the larger picture.
  3. Accountability. Every team member should be accountable for their individual tasks and contributions. Accountability fosters a sense of ownership and ensures that deadlines are met, and quality standards are maintained.

What do you need to know if you’re seeking a promotion?

The ones I usually feature on our blogs with eLink are leaders who have been promoted. One of the things that I asked for is for our guests to share pieces of advice for job seekers, new employees, and tenured employees seeking a way up the ladder. 

“Seeking a promotion,” in Michael’s words, “is an important step in advancing their career. ” With that, he provided the following tips for potential leaders.

  1. Set Clear Goals: Identify the position you’re aiming for and understand the skills, responsibilities, and qualifications required.
  2. Show Initiatives: Take the initiative to go above and beyond your assigned tasks.
  3. Take on Additional Responsibilities: This showcases your willingness to take on new challenges.

Mr. Yutan chose this career path because it offers a competitive salary compared to other industries. He also noted that the BPO industry accepts applicants even without prior job experience and offers career growth opportunities. If ever BPO has not been a path he took, he might see himself in a lab as a chemist.

Related Post: Salary Increase or Promotion: What Would Make You Stay in a Company?

In essence, an Author Relations Officer, Customer Service Representative, and Sales Representative create a symbiotic relationship, nurturing the foundation of a successful business. Exceptional customer service, author satisfaction, and persuasive salesmanship together drive customer loyalty and revenue growth. Recognizing the significance of these roles is essential for any business aiming to thrive in today’s competitive market by building lasting relationships and delivering genuine value.

eLink is currently looking for Author Relations Officers and Sales Representatives. If you want to join our growing team of professionals, don’t hesitate to send your resume to and mention as your source. A life-long and satisfying career is waiting for you. Contact us today!

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JP Abecilla

JP Abecilla - The Millennial Writer is a Filipino influencer and award-winning blogger in the Philippines based in Cebu City, Cebu. JP blogs about writing, blogging, motivation, career, politics, and religion. He is a recipient of Best Cebu Events Blog of 2019 and Blog of the Year (2nd Place) in 2020 by Globe Telecom. More than being a writer, blogger, and influencer, JP loves coffee, books, and donuts.

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