Clientele vs Clienteles

2

Please tell me which one is correct:

1. What's important is that our clienteles are happy with our service.

2. What's important is that our clientele is happy with our service.

user1555

Posted 2013-08-19T15:28:58.653

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Answers

4

'Clientele' is defined as:

a body of clients, e.g. "a shop that caters to an exclusive clientele"

As this already refers to multiple clients, your second example would be correct:

What's important is that our clientele is happy with our service.

I see that some dictionaries define a plural 'clienteles', but I'm not entirely sure how that would be used. Possibly if you were segmenting your clients into multiple groups, then collectively, these groups would be 'clienteles', but I've never heard anyone use it.

Google Ngrams shows the prominence of 'clientele' over 'clienteles'.

Richard Williams

Posted 2013-08-19T15:28:58.653

Reputation: 978

In French, clientèle can also mean a category of clients (e.g. the locals vs the tourists might be counted as two clientèles). I don't think this meaning has made its way into English. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' – 2013-08-19T21:43:04.710

1

Clientele, like cotton or pressure or jogging, is usually uncountable; it refers to all clients or customers in aggregate. Most mass nouns, however, can be used when drawing a distinction between classifications or other subsets of the concept, in which case multiple subsets would be referred to with the plural: peoples, sciences, fishes, soaps, etc. See also https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/94082/when-can-you-pluralize-uncountable-nouns .

It may be uncommon, but one could speak of serving your clienteles in the same way one can speak of serving your publics or serving your audiences.

choster

Posted 2013-08-19T15:28:58.653

Reputation: 16 753