CRM stands for customer relationship management, one of the most frequently used terms by modern businesses. It is the idea that customer relationships are one of the most important facets of business success, and businesses should build systems that naturally help create trust and relationship with the customer. CRS, on the other hand, stands for customer relationship strategy, a broader term used to describe wider business goals.

Strategic Level

CRM plans evolve from CRS. On an industry level, CRS is the concept that customer service is important and needs to be a focus. CRS changes based on the type of customers an industry has and what level of interaction businesses have with these customers. CRM, on the other hand, is a more focused form of strategy that deals with specific methods and systems that businesses use to contact customers and manage their information.


CRM deals primarily with the non-technical aspects of customer service, studying employees, customers and their interactions with one another. CRS adds another factor to CRM: CI, or customer intelligence. This is a general term for database management and analysis programs used to study customer movement and compile useful customer data for customer service departments. CRS includes these technical aspects, while CRM is more interested in the effectiveness of the customer strategy.

Approach to the Customer

The differentiation between including the technical aspects and focusing on customer interaction leads to a difference between CRM and CRS in how the customer is considered. In CRM, customers are more likely to be considered as emotional beings with individual interests, people with whom the company tries to establish a personal connection so as to increase its loyal base. CRS strategies are more likely to look at customers as units or sections of data pertinent to company systems.

Types of CRM in CRS Strategies

Only one type of CRS strategy generally exists: the combination of personal and technical aspects that the business uses to develop customer relationships. However, at the CRM level many different types of management systems exist: Operational, analytical, campaign and collaborative CRM are only some of the types used by different businesses.