“I love people and I love ideas. I like breaking down silos and helping people find common ground,” said PHL Assistant Director of Guest Experience, Elizabeth Moselle. “I love that I get to work in many different areas— customer service, design, consumer insights and so much more. It’s never boring.”
For a little over a year-and-a-half, Moselle has worked at PHL, approaching the airport as a mini-city that’s a vitally important economic engine for Philadelphia. As a native Philadelphian, her goal has always been to elevate the impression of the city and bolster its image. Before joining the Division of Aviation, Moselle worked on activating park spaces and generating revenue for their maintenance and programming at the Fairmount Park Conservancy. Prior to that Moselle spent eight years at the Mount Airy Village Development Corporation (previously Mt. Airy USA) where she led efforts to transform the neighborhood commercial district on Germantown Avenue.
“When I first came to PHL there was a lot of room to figure out what the Guest Experience Department would look like and that’s been exciting because it gave me that opportunity to come in and assess, understand, start building relationships and then work on a strategy for improvement” said Moselle.
Culture and community are foundational roots of the Guest Experience department at PHL. Moselle and Department Director Leah Douglas work collaboratively with all of the airport’s internal departments and with external stakeholders, including PHL Food & Shops concessionaires; the airlines, TSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Parkway and ground transportation entities. Guest Experience Stakeholder Council meetings take place every other month and have representation from all airport stakeholders. The Steering Committee meets every month and is co-chaired by Division of Aviation CEO Chellie Cameron and Vice President of PHL Hub Operations for American Airlines Lakshman Amaranayaka.
“We're trying to achieve a cultural shift to hospitality and a guest-centric mindset across organizations and get everyone to work together, so building out the Guest Experience Stakeholder Council and Steering Committees was key,” said Moselle. “Our 2021 focus area is employee conduct and customer service. When a lot of people make a small change, it can have a big impact. We’re going to work with our Steering Committee and our new Employee Conduct Working Group and see what we can achieve together.”
Moselle and Douglas want to improve the entirety of the airport experience through strategic initiatives based on customer insights.
“We're making sure the voice of the customer is central to how we plan for things. That requires a lot of data and customer insights work, which is something that I've been working on quite a bit with Kate Sullivan, our Director of Marketing and Branding,” said Moselle. “If the overarching goal of a good Guest Experience program is to meet and exceed customer expectations, we have to know what those are, and we have to understand who our passengers are, what they're looking for, and how they view things.”
PHL has been participating in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey from Airports Council International (ACI) for a couple of years, which is fielded to guests at the gate areas and filled out on tablets. The ASQ survey covers how passengers rate an airport’s services; how it compares to others around the country and world by traffic type, size, region; which aspects are of particular importance to that airport; and how passengers’ perceptions are changing over time. The airport was recently honored by ACI for its ASQ efforts. Recently, PHL has tested and adopted new consumer insight tools.
“We launched a pilot of the J.D. Powers Passenger View survey tool around the holiday season,” said Moselle. “It’s a Wi-Fi intercept survey that pops up when people log into the airport’s free Wi-Fi. The survey is about one-to-two minutes long and can change regularly or operate with multiple versions running concurrently once we scale up to the full, paid version of the program. The data is more focused and targeted. ”
Moselle wants guests to feel safe, welcome, and to enjoy their experience at the airport. The COVID-19 pandemic shaped much of Guest Experience’s early work. The department led initiatives like placing signage and decals throughout the airport to remind passengers and employees of the importance of practicing physical distancing and mask wearing; obtaining additional hand sanitizing stations; ensuring free health amenities are posted on the airport’s online maps; and developing the #MaskUpPHL program to ensure 100 percent employee mask wearing compliance. Moselle and Douglas, along with representatives from the Division of Aviation's Operations Department, and stakeholders walk the terminals to encourage mask compliance.
“We do regular walk-throughs of the terminals, handing out our special #MaskUpPHL buttons to thank employees for wearing their masks properly, over their noses and mouths,” said Moselle. “We show our appreciation to them for keeping everyone and our airport community safe. Employees really like receiving the buttons and we are happy to have recently expanded it to our guests, too.”
Recently, the airport’s Passenger Assistance team moved under the Guest Experience umbrella. “That broadens the whole customer service component of our work,” she said. “I’m excited about the opportunities Passenger Assistance will be able to provide guests traveling throughout PHL.”