Today's consumers typically do a lot of online research before deciding to engage with a company's product or service. Part of this research may entail reading reviews from other customers to see what kind of star rating the business has received. 

Companies with a 5-star rating have a clear leg up in this scenario because previous customers trusted their business enough to tell other consumers about their stellar experience. But becoming a 5-star company doesn't just happen overnight -- it takes consistent effort and a commitment to the best customer service practices.

Below, a group of successful entrepreneurs shared some key practices these top-rated companies follow and how you can replicate them in your own business.

Respond to negative reviews.

It's impossible to please everyone who buys something from your store, says Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights. However, that doesn't mean that you can't make it right when there is a problem. 

"Responding to negative reviews is one reason 5-star companies are so loved," Christoff explains. "When you see negative feedback, reach out to the customer right away so you can fix the issue. If you succeed, the user will likely adjust their review."

Take your customer journey yourself.

Top-rated companies are able to imagine themselves as a customer and take themselves through their own customer experience. Mary Harcourt, founder of CosmoGlo, suggests asking yourself questions such as, "How does the website feel when first discovering it? What is the purchasing process like? What is the tone of email communications? Are your questions answered easily?"

"By playing the guest, you can pick out your flaws and easily correct them to create an enjoyable interaction," adds Harcourt.

Focus on the little details.

Andrew Powell, co-founder and CEO of Learn to Win, recommends being relentlessly focused on removing points of friction for customers. 

"Think about the experience of opening a product from Apple," Powell says. "Apple's products are so well designed, down to the little details of how a consumer opens up their boxes -- very easy to do, no tools required, etc. They deeply care about customer experience even in the smallest details, and that ethos permeates the whole company."

Stay creative and innovative.

Consistent creativity and innovation are a sign that a company is obsessed with its customers, says Shu Saito, CEO of All Filters

"The driving force behind creativity in business is understanding what your customers need and specifically addressing those needs," Saito adds. "Innovation comes from noticing how customers interact with a product and how technology and marketing models arise from that relationship."

Invest in your employees.

According to Candice Georgiadis, founder of Digital Day, 5-star rated companies often encourage their employees to stay updated with industry trends by developing initiatives for learning hard and soft skills. 

"The world is dynamic in nature, and your employees need to keep up," explains Georgiadis. "These sessions compound into something bigger, and with every training, the company as a whole progresses. Investing in people will always be ROI-positive." 

Engage with repeat customers.

Today's top-rated companies focus on engaging with their happiest customers and encouraging them to leave reviews of their experience. This, says Fehzan Ali, co-founder and chair of the board at Adscend Media LLC, builds a deeper connection to their customers while showing their deep commitment to the customer experience. 

"This also helps to further reinforce customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and an expectation from new customers for high-quality services," Ali adds.

Deliver top-notch customer service.

Many high-performing companies prioritize their customer service and put their customers' needs first, says Stephanie Wells, co-founder and CTO of Formidable Forms.

"From their FAQ page to their contact page, these businesses make themselves easily accessible so customers can quickly access solutions and get answers to their questions," Wells notes. "Customers are more likely to return to a business with quality customer service."

Make it easy to contact you.

Offering 5-star services and support is simple at its root, explains Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner: You need to make it easy for customers to contact you. 

"Add forms to your site, share a business phone number, share your email and use a chat tool," Balkhi recommends. "And then, respond! When your customers can get in touch with real people from your business and get help, it makes for a 5-star experience right away and builds customer loyalty."