Customer Service Connect

As I read this article about not siloing the customer service department, but, instead, inviting them to the table, it reminded me of the days when I managed a customer service department. I had thought that by now organizations would understand the importance of the customer service front-line workers. I recall that people on the front line knew the customer, and customer issues and concerns better than anyone else in the org, including the salespeople. There was a big disconnect between the customer service department and other support and production areas. One of the first things that I did, when I was in the situation, was to make the production manager my "new best friend."

Has the customer service department risen in organizations yet? Do you value the customer service department where you are? If not, what must change to be sure that the customer service department is "rockin'"?