Communication strategies are considered to be the blueprints of the exchange of information between two individuals. Primarily, there are three types of communication strategies that can be used to enhance business communication such as verbal, non-verbal and visual communication strategies (Steyn and Puth, 2000). In a response to solve the communication problem and handle the issue effectively, General Motors has resorted to the visual communication strategies. There had been repeated complaints from the customers that calling the GM agents to seek for a solution had been futile and that a demand for a loaner vehicle against recalled cars has been dismissed by the GM agent. Due to the barrages of headlines about the federal investigation of the insufficient communication in the recall issue, the GM sought the effective digital communication strategy. By digital communication strategy, it is meant that communication would be established using digital platforms and social networks. GM has realized that the social networks are the best communication tool for the company to make right decisions and build an effective customer relationship (Berman and Kesterson‐Townes, 2012). While the renowned automaker, GM, still continues to use the conventional communication methods like a call centre, letters to customers, news media with a recall message and blogs, it is quite recently that their online grievance responsiveness has augmented.
GM had voluntarily handled the issue by taking over the social media platform especially Twitter to erase the communication gap identified between the organization and customers. On one instant, Lauren Munhoven, who lives in Alaska had initially contacted the customer service call centre of GM in an attempt to get help with her 2006 Saturn Ion which had been recalled in February 2014. With about an hour over the phone, the lady could get no help and finally resort to the social media platform, Twitter. Eventually, the Twitter complaint was quickly resolved and after repeated exchange of private messages, GM’s Twitter team was successful in offering help to the mother of two. The company had agreed to bear the cost of Ms. Munhoven’s round ferry trip worth $600 to her nearest dealer and provide her with a rental car in the absence of Saturn (Goel, 2014). It can be said that the primary communication issue was resolved due to the company’s innovative strategy of taking the platform of social media to cater to the needs of the customers. In its attempt to continue with the digital communication strategy, GM formed a team of about 20 people to manage the social media presence and monitor and respond to the inquiries and complaints in different auto forums. This virtue of the communication strategy can be interlinked with the transactional model of communication.