Advancements in technology have made relationship marketing a reality in recent years. Technologies such as data warehousing, data mining, and campaign management software have made customer relationship management a new area where firms can gain a competitive advantage. Particularly through data mining—the extraction of hidden predictive information from large databases—organizations can identify valuable customers, predict future behaviors, and enable firms to make proactive, knowledge-driven decisions. The automated, future-oriented analyses made possible by data mining move beyond the analyses of past events typically provided by history-oriented tools such as decision support systems. Data mining tools answer business questions that in the past were too time-consuming to pursue. Yet, it is the answers to these questions make customer relationship management possible. Various techniques exist among data mining software, each with their own advantages and challenges for different types of applications. A particular dichotomy exists between neural networks and chi-square automated interaction detection (CHAID). While differing approaches abound in the realm of data mining, the use of some type of data mining is necessary to accomplish the goals of today’s customer relationship management philosophy. 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.