Choosing the right answering service can be a difficult process, but online reviews are a great resource.

Unlike a company’s promotional website, which will tell you all about the services they offer and why you need to hire them right away, virtual receptionist reviews can reveal the rest of the story. Internet users aren’t shy, and they will tell you what it is really like to work with a particular company. Having all of this information is incredible if you know how to filter it.

When looking at virtual receptionist reviews, there are a few things to bear in mind:

Bad news travels further than good. Numerous studies have been done on the power of negative publicity. At the end of the day, there’s no denying that we’d rather complain about horrible service than praise companies that went above and beyond. When reading online reviews, always keep that human tendency in mind and make sure to read all the comments rather than just look at an aggregated satisfaction score.

Customer service quality is defined by resolutions. Every company can be assumed to have great customer service until you have to use it — that’s where the rubber meets the road. If a customer review offers a serious complaint, but the company then goes out of their way to correct the issue, you can safely assume they’d do the same for you. Sometimes the unexpected happens, but a company that can manage the situation without blaming the customer is a company that truly understands customer service.

Companies pay attention to negative feedback. Last, but not least, if you notice a trend of great reviews in the last six months and some really bad ones before then, it may be because the company made a change in response to customer feedback. Online reviews usually don’t exist in a vacuum, after all, so if a company is recovering well from a distant past filled with bad feedback, it’s probably safe to give them a chance to prove themselves.

Hiring a virtual receptionist can be a difficult process, but once you’ve got the field narrowed to the most qualified candidates, it’s time to check out their reviews. A history of excellence is usually pretty easy to spot, if you know what to look for online. Just remember that a single one-star-based rating doesn’t tell the whole story. Instead, a deep reading of many customer reviews can give you a better idea about what it will be like to work with a particular company.