No matter what industry you are in, technology matters. It impacts the way you market your business, interact with customers and identify your target market. In recent years, the biggest advancements in technology have included augmented reality, machine learning and automation. But, this is only the beginning. As more businesses and organizations grow comfortable incorporating technology into their day-to-day affairs, expectations will grow more advanced.

Here are five technology trends that are already changing business development. Which ones do you see your business using?

1. Customer Scheduling

Knowing that each customer is unique, it’s helpful to give them multiple ways to interact with your business. Customer scheduling tools allow clients to pick the time, date and mode they wish to communicate. This makes better use of the time you spend with clients and lets them take more control over the service being provided to them.

2.  Automation Technology

Automaton technology is nothing new as businesses have always been open to streamlining repetitive tasks. However, automation no longer encompasses generic, robotic software. It’s highly intuitive, especially when combined with artificial intelligence. Businesses are comforted knowing that they can provide increasingly personalized experiences without having to put in the manual labor.

3. Big Data and Machine Learning

Big data takes extremely large sets of data and identifies patterns, anomalies and trends. With access to this information, businesses can make data-driven decisions that produce real results. When machine learning is added to the mix, things get even more streamlined. Computers can learn from this big data without having to be programmed.

4. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality gives customers the opportunity to see how a product will fit into their lives. This visualization will continue to change the way sales is done. Not only can businesses show various sides of their products through augmented reality but also communicate with customers more effectively. If customers have questions or hesitations, they can be addressed immediately on this platform, reducing barriers.

5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

Only half of small businesses with 10 or less employees use a CRM. Expect this to change in the coming years. CRM systems are no longer reserved for the big guys. Companies of all sizes must manage their customer relationships if they want to deliver useful, relevant products at the right time.

Technology is present in everything we do, but these are the key areas to focus on for the time being. Bottom line: Don’t be afraid of technology. It allows your business to achieve more with fewer resources.